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CEO Doesn't Know if MoviePass Will Offer a Movie Per Day Plan Again

Slashdot - 43 min 36 sec ago
The subscription service famous for supplying a movie ticket per day for just $9.95 a month hasn't been offering that wildly popular package since April 13. From a report: The company's too-good-to-be-true offer of one movie per day for $10 subscription model brought it 500,000 subscribers in one month, but MoviePass' finances show that the startup is struggling while still being dogged by its CEO's comments around tracking his customers. Recently, the company downgraded its available new subscriber plans to a three-month, $30 "limited time" offer that includes four movies per month and a three-month trial of iHeartRadio premium. It seems as if this offer now has no limit; CEO Mitch Lowe told The Hollywood Reporter that he was unsure if the movie-per-day plan would even return as an option. "Do you think you will go back to a movie a day?" a THR reporter asked Lowe at CinemaCon in Las Vegas. "I don't know," he responded.

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Categories: Geeky Stuff

Ski Lift In Austria Left Control Panel Open On the Internet

Slashdot - Thu, 26/04/2018 - 23:25
An anonymous reader writes: Officials from the city of Innsbruck in Austria have shut down a local ski lift after two security researchers found its control panel open wide on the Internet, and allowing anyone to take control of the ski lift's operational settings. There was no authentication in place, and anyone accessing the control panel could have modified the ski lift's speed, the distance between cable cars, and cable tension. Coincidentally, researchers discovered the ski lift's control panel on the same day that NBC ran a report about a ski lift system suffering a mechanical malfunction, going at crazy speeds, and injuring 10 people. Both ski lifts were from the same vendor, but researchers say they weren't aware of the NBC report when they stumbled upon the one in Austria. Innsbruck officials shut down the ski lift for a security audit, and the ski lift is still nonoperational today.

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Categories: Geeky Stuff

Stick It To The Man spiritual successor Flipping Death is out in August

Eurogamer - Thu, 26/04/2018 - 22:59

Developer Zoink has announced that its ghoulish comedy adventure, and Stick It To The Man spiritual successor, Flipping Death will launch on PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PC, and Switch this August.

Anyone that's had the pleasure of Zoink's enormously enjoyable Stick It To The Man should immediately spot the parallels with Flipping Death. Not only does it sport a similar cardboard cutout aesthetic, it looks to offer a broadly similar style of play, combining simple 2D platforming with streamlined point-and-click-esque puzzling.

In Flipping Death, you take on the role of Penny, a poor unfortunate soul who wakes from an untimely end to discover that she's somehow been given the job of Grim Reaper - and gained a range of handy paranormal powers in the process.

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Categories: Video Games

Jeff Bezos Says He Liquidates a $1 Billion of Amazon Stock Every Year To Pay For His Rocket Company Blue Origin

Slashdot - Thu, 26/04/2018 - 22:45
Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos spends a tiny fraction of his net worth to fund Blue Origin, the aerospace company he started in 2000. From a report: For a man worth $127 billion, that tiny fraction amounts to $1 billion a year, which he gets by liquidating Amazon stock, Bezos said at an Axel Springer awards event in Berlin, Germany, hosted by Business Insider's US editor-in-chief, Alyson Shontell. "The only way I can see to deploy this much financial resource is by converting my Amazon winnings into space travel," he said in an interview with Axel Springer CEO Mathias Dopfner. "Blue Origin is expensive enough to be able to use that fortune." Bezos said he planned to continue funding the company through that annual tradition long into the future. Bezos famously has numerous projects. He runs Amazon, owns The Washington Post, and is working on turning a mansion in Washington, DC, into a single-family home, to name a few. None of these, he said, are as relevant or as worthy of his money as Blue Origin, which he called "the most important work I'm doing."

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Categories: Geeky Stuff

New C# Ransomware Compiles Itself at Runtime

Slashdot - Thu, 26/04/2018 - 22:05
From a report: A new in-development ransomware was discovered that has an interesting characteristic. Instead of the distributed executable performing the ransomware functionality, the executables compiles an embedded encrypted C# program at runtime and launches it directly into memory.

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Categories: Geeky Stuff

The Smartphone Sales Slowdown is Real

Slashdot - Thu, 26/04/2018 - 21:25
Earnings reports from Samsung and Qualcomm on Wednesday suggest a serious industrywide slowdown in smartphone sales. Samsung's report is especially telling, since it also makes displays and other components for Apple. From a report: The smartphone business is an incredibly crowded space, so a slowdown could lead to even steeper price competition. That's a potential short-term boon for consumers, but could put the hurt on a whole host of technology companies. Samsung's take: Its written outlook was terse and brief, but damning. Of its own phones, it said "[p]rofitability in the mobile business is expected to decline quarter-over-quarter due to stagnant sales of flagship models amid weak demand and an increase in marketing expenses to address the situation." Similarly, it cautioned of weak demand in its display and chip businesses, which supply components for both Samsung and its phone rivals, including Apple. Qualcomm's take: The phone chip giant also predicted a slowdown, cutting its forecast for 3G and 4G smartphones.

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Categories: Geeky Stuff

Meteors are finally crashing to earth in Fortnite

Eurogamer - Thu, 26/04/2018 - 21:08

Brace yourselves people, it's finally happening! After weeks of teasing and speculation, massive chunks of rock are now thundering down from the skies over Fortnite's Battle Royale map and smashing to the earth.

It looks like we're still at the preliminary stage of the meteor apocalypse, however, with the only real destruction wrought so far seemingly on trees and smaller structures, as well as the nerves of unsuspecting players just minding their own business and trying to do some murder. Thank goodness Epic turned on the emergency broadcast system in time.

As such, it's still unclear if this dramatic conclusion to Epic's long-teased meteor event will culminate in the obliteration of the unloved Tilted Towers, or indeed any area of the map. Here's how things have been looking over in Battle Royale since the sky started falling down.

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Categories: Video Games

Fake Mark Zuckerbergs Scam Facebook Users Out of Their Cash

Slashdot - Thu, 26/04/2018 - 20:45
Hundreds of Facebook and Instagram accounts have been parading as Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg and COO Sheryl Sandberg, tricking vulnerable individuals into sending large amounts of money in order to collect bogus lottery winnings, the New York Times reports [Editor's note: the link may be paywalled]. From a report: An examination by The New York Times found 205 accounts impersonating Mr. Zuckerberg and Ms. Sandberg on Facebook and its photo-sharing site Instagram, not including fan pages or satire accounts, which are permitted under the company's rules. At least 51 of the impostor accounts, including 43 on Instagram, were lottery scams like the one that fooled Mr. Bernhardt. The fake Zuckerbergs and faux Sandbergs have proliferated on Facebook and Instagram, despite the presence of Facebook groups that track the scams and complaints about the trick dating to at least 2010. A day after The Times informed Facebook of its findings, the company removed all 96 impostor Mark Zuckerberg and Sheryl Sandberg accounts on its Facebook site. It had left up all but one of the 109 fakes on Instagram, but removed them after this article was published.

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Categories: Geeky Stuff

Robot-Launched Weather Balloons in Alaska Hasten Demise of Remote Stations

Slashdot - Thu, 26/04/2018 - 20:05
The National Weather Service is choosing automated launchers over human employees to deploy weather balloons in Alaska. From a report: Last Thursday, just before 3 p.m., things began stirring inside the truck-size box that sat among melting piles of snow at the airport in Fairbanks, Alaska. Inside, software ran checks on instruments to measure atmospheric temperature, humidity, and pressure; a tray slid into place; and a nozzle began filling a large balloon with gas. Finally, the roof of the box yawned open and a weather balloon took off into the sunny afternoon, instruments dangling. The entire launch was triggered with the touch of a button, 5 kilometers away at an office of the National Weather Service (NWS). The flight was smooth, just one of hundreds of twice-daily balloon launches around the world that radio back crucial data for weather forecasts. But most of those balloons are launched by people; the robotic launchers, which are rolling out across Alaska, are proving to be controversial. NWS says the autolaunchers will save money and free up staff to work on more pressing matters. But representatives of the employee union question their reliability, and say they will hasten the end of Alaska's remote weather offices, where forecasting duties and hours have already been slashed. "The autolauncher is just another nail in their coffin," says Kimberly Vaughan, a union steward in Juneau. Once deployed across the state, the $1.2 million machines, built by Finnish company Vaisala, will save about 8 hours of forecaster time a day -- and about $1 million a year at NWS, Susan Buchanan, an NWS spokesperson says.

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Categories: Geeky Stuff

High-Paying Trade Jobs Sit Empty, While High School Grads Line Up For University

Slashdot - Thu, 26/04/2018 - 19:25
An anonymous reader shares an NPR report: While a shortage of workers is pushing wages higher in the skilled trades, the financial return from a bachelor's degree is softening, even as the price -- and the average debt into which it plunges students -- keeps going up. But high school graduates have been so effectively encouraged to get a bachelor's that high-paid jobs requiring shorter and less expensive training are going unfilled. This affects those students and also poses a real threat to the economy. "Parents want success for their kids," said Mike Clifton, who teaches machining at the Lake Washington Institute of Technology, about 20 miles from Seattle. "They get stuck on [four-year bachelor's degrees], and they're not seeing the shortage there is in tradespeople until they hire a plumber and have to write a check." In a new report, the Washington State Auditor found that good jobs in the skilled trades are going begging because students are being almost universally steered to bachelor's degrees. Among other things, the Washington auditor recommended that career guidance -- including choices that require less than four years in college -- start as early as the seventh grade. "There is an emphasis on the four-year university track" in high schools, said Chris Cortines, who co-authored the report. Yet, nationwide, three out of 10 high school grads who go to four-year public universities haven't earned degrees within six years, according to the National Student Clearinghouse. At four-year private colleges, that number is more than 1 in 5.

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Categories: Geeky Stuff

PUBG's latest update brings map selection, Miramar improvements, muscle car, and more

Eurogamer - Thu, 26/04/2018 - 19:15

Bluehole's newly invigorated development streak continues today with a sizeable new update for PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds on PC, bringing Miramar improvements, a map selection option, major balancing, as well as new weapons, vehicles, attachments, and more.

Update #12, to given the newest patch its official name, is still at the tweaking stage, and only available on PUBG's test servers right now. It's positively heaving with stuff, all ripe for community feedback at this current stage, but its most crowd-pleasing addition will likely be the ability to select a specific map to play.

PUBG's new menu UI option enables players to choose either a single map - guaranteeing that it will be their destination - or multiple maps which the game will then randomly select from during matchmaking. Unsurprisingly, only Erangel and Miramar are currently available, but there's space for PUBG's new tropical-themed map when it arrives later this year.

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Categories: Video Games

Ubuntu 18.04 Focuses On Security and AI Improvements

Slashdot - Thu, 26/04/2018 - 18:45
Canonical has announced the release of its open-source Linux operating system, Ubuntu 18.04, which features security, multi-cloud, containers, and AI improvements. From a report: "Multi-cloud operations are the new normal," said Mark Shuttleworth, CEO of Canonical and founder of Ubuntu, in a statement. "Boot-time and performance-optimized images of Ubuntu 18.04 LTS on every major public cloud make it the fastest and most efficient OS for cloud computing, especially for storage and compute intensive tasks like machine learning." On-premises and on-cloud AI development within Ubuntu will be improved by the integration of Kubeflow and a range of CI/CD tools into Canonical Kubernetes. Kubeflow is a machine learning library built on Kubernetes.

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Categories: Geeky Stuff

As More Users Complain About Poor Keyboard in Current MacBook Pro Lineup, Critics Say Apple Should Consider Recalling the Device

Slashdot - Thu, 26/04/2018 - 18:05
Last year, a report outlining what it described as a major flaw in Apple's current MacBook Pro lineup became a talking point in the industry. The issue was that a piece of dust could render keys on the MacBook Pro lineup useless, and that Apple had no idea how to fix it. Casey Johnston, writing for The Outline: MacBook Pro's keyboard keys stopped working if a single piece of dust slipped under there, and more importantly, that neither Apple nor its Geniuses would acknowledge that this was actually a problem. Today, Best Buy announced it is having a significant sale on these computers, marking them hundreds of dollars off. Interesting. Still, I'd suggest you do not buy them. Since I wrote about my experience, many have asked me what happened with the new top half of the computer that the Apple Geniuses installed, with its pristine keyboard and maybe-different key switches. The answer is that after a couple of months, I started to get temporarily dead keys for seemingly no reason. Again. Longtime widely respected commentator Jason Snell says, "I know that we Apple-watchers sit around wondering if Apple will release new laptops with new keyboards that don't have these issues, but Apple's relative silence on this issue for existing customers is deafening. If these problems are remotely as common as they seem to be, this is an altogether defective product that should be recalled."

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Categories: Geeky Stuff

Researchers Are Keeping Pig Brains Alive Outside the Body

Slashdot - Thu, 26/04/2018 - 17:36
In a step that could change the definition of death, researchers have restored circulation to the brains of decapitated pigs and kept the reanimated organs alive for as long as 36 hours. From a report: The feat offers scientists a new way to study intact brains in the lab in stunning detail. But it also inaugurates a bizarre new possibility in life extension, should human brains ever be kept on life support outside the body. The work was described on March 28 at a meeting held at the National Institutes of Health to investigate ethical issues arising as US neuroscience centers explore the limits of brain science. During the event, Yale University neuroscientist Nenad Sestan disclosed that a team he leads had experimented on between 100 and 200 pig brains obtained from a slaughterhouse, restoring their circulation using a system of pumps, heaters, and bags of artificial blood warmed to body temperature.

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Categories: Geeky Stuff

Google Joins Apple in Condemning the Repeal of the Clean Power Plan

Slashdot - Thu, 26/04/2018 - 16:54
An anonymous reader shares a report: Google filed a public comment today criticizing the Environmental Protection Agency's proposal to roll back the Clean Power Plan, an Obama-era policy that aims to cut power plant pollution. With its comment, Google joins Apple in arguing that keeping the policy is a good deal for the US. Google's comment, which it shared with The Verge, lays out what it called a strong economic case for the Clean Power Plan.It says that the plan would encourage utilities and companies like Google to keep investing in renewable energy -- which Google says is getting cheaper, is desired by both consumers and investors, and is a good source of jobs.

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Categories: Geeky Stuff

Snapchat Takes a Second Try at Spectacles

Slashdot - Thu, 26/04/2018 - 16:00
Snapchat is launching an updated version of Spectacles, its glasses with an embedded camera, and says its first version of the smart glasses sold over 220,000 units. From a report: That first version also caused the company to take a nearly $40 million write-down in the third quarter due to excess inventory. But instead of scrapping its hardware unit, the company is pressing ahead. Snap "listened to our customers and our community and incorporated every part of their feedback," said Mark Randall, Snapchat's vice president of hardware. The new version costs $150 -- $20 more than the prior version. They come in three new colors (onyx, ruby, and sapphire), are water resistant and can take photos and videos in high definition. Plus the content transfers much faster.

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Categories: Geeky Stuff

A Well-Known Expert On Student Loans Is Not Real

Slashdot - Thu, 26/04/2018 - 15:00
mi shares a report from The Chronicle of Higher Education: Drew Cloud is everywhere. The self-described journalist who specializes in student-loan debt has been quoted in major news outlets, including The Washington Post, The Boston Globe, and CNBC, and is a fixture in the smaller, specialized blogosphere of student debt. But he's a fiction, and "his" site -- an invention of a student-loan refinancing company. "Drew Cloud is a pseudonym that a diverse group of authors at Student Loan Report, LLC use to share experiences and information related to the challenges college students face with funding their education," wrote Nate Matherson, CEO of LendEDU (the company that owns Cloud's website, The Student Loan Report). Before that admission, however, Cloud had corresponded at length with many journalists, pitching them stories and offering email interviews, many of which were published. When The Chronicle attempted to contact him through the address last week, Cloud said he was traveling and had limited access to his account. He didn't respond to additional inquiries. And on Monday, as The Chronicle continued to seek comment, Cloud suddenly evaporated. His once-prominent placement on The Student Loan Report had been removed. His bylines were replaced with "SLR Editor." Matherson confirmed on Tuesday that Cloud was an invention. Pressed on whether he regretted deceiving news organizations with a fake source, Matherson said Cloud "was created as a way to connect with our readers (ex. people struggling to repay student debt) and give us the technical ability to post content to the Wordpress website."

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Categories: Geeky Stuff

GeForce GTX 1080 back in stock at Amazon

Eurogamer - Thu, 26/04/2018 - 14:35

If you've been awake and anywhere near the internet over the past six months, you'll probably have heard how the rise of cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin has had the unfortunate side effect of driving up the cost of graphics cards all over the world. If you could find a high-end graphics card actually still in stock over the past few months, odds are good that it would cost you an almost four-figure price tag.

Fortunately, at least for now, you can head to Amazon UK and pick up a Gigabyte GeForce GTX 1080 card for £509.99, which, while not the cheapest price it has ever been available for, is the cheapest it has been available for this year so far.

Sure, it's still going to cost you a pretty penny to get one of these things, but if you've been holding fire on a brand new gaming PC build it might finally be a decent time to pick up a card like this and get building. If Amazon isn't your thing, Ebuyer also has stock of the card at the same price of £509.99.

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Categories: Video Games

Microsoft slaps Halo Online mod Twitch streamers with DMCA takedowns

Eurogamer - Thu, 26/04/2018 - 13:10

Yesterday, we reported on Microsoft's move against the popular Halo Online mod ElDewrito. At the time, Halo developer 343 insisted Microsoft's lawyers hadn't shut down the mod, rather, they were working to scrub any Halo Online assets required to play the game from the internet and insisted the ElDewrito team pause development.

"While we are humbled and inspired to see the amount of passion poured into this project, the fact remains that it's built upon Microsoft-owned assets that were never lawfully released or authorised for this purpose," 343 said in a statement.

"As this project reverberated across the community, our team took a step back to assess the materials and explore possible avenues, while Microsoft, like any company, has a responsibility to protect its IP, code and trademarks. It's not optional in other words."

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Categories: Video Games

You can pay for a 3% chance to own a Nintendo Switch in Animal Crossing: Pocket Camp

Eurogamer - Thu, 26/04/2018 - 13:00

Animal Crossing: Pocket Camp, Nintendo's smartphone spin-off from its cute life sim series, now lets you own a Nintendo Switch.

You can get a Switch with grey Joy-Con for free, but to get the console with red and blue Joy-Con - and to unlock a special scene with your campsite friends - you'll need to pay up.

Nintendo consoles and accessories are the newest addition to Pocket Camp's awful randomised loot boxes, which were added to the game just over a week ago. You can get duplicate items, the system to ensure you get the item you want is arduous, and they're startlingly expensive.

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Categories: Video Games
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