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Virgin Hyperloop One Eyes India For Possible High-Speed Routes

Slashdot - Fri, 17/11/2017 - 02:45
India is officially being added to the list of nations that have expressed interest in near-supersonic, tube-based travel. Virgin Hyperloop One "signed agreements with the governments of Maharashtra and Karnataka to begin studying the impact of a hyperloop in the region," reports The Verge. "The feasibility studies have implications for India's giant cities like Mumbai and Bangalore, as well as fast-growing urban centers like Pune and Nagpur." From the report: The agreements are signs that despite its lack of a commercial product or human-ready testing, Virgin Hyperloop One has shown a tenacity for securing agreements with willing government partners. The company recently announced 10 winning submissions in a long-running contest to find what it believes to be the best places to build the first hyperloop routes in the world. Ten teams across five countries (Mexico, India, the United States, the United Kingdom, and Canada) were picked from the original 2,600 submissions, and the routes range in size from about 200 to nearly 700 miles, depending on the location. Virgin Hyperloop One hasn't specified the length of the routes it would build in India -- to be sure, it remains possible that none of these proposed routes get built -- but it did tease some of the possibilities in terms of reduction in travel time. For example, it would take just 14 minutes to travel between Mumbai and the fast-growing city of Pune, a journey that currently takes up to three hours by car. Also, it could look at connecting Nagpur, which is in the easternmost part of Maharashtra, with Mumbai and Pune to vastly improve passenger and freight transportation.

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Categories: Geeky Stuff

FCC Repeals Decades-Old Rules Blocking Broadcast Media Mergers

Slashdot - Fri, 17/11/2017 - 02:03
An anonymous reader quotes a report from The Washington Post (Warning: source may be paywalled; alternative source): Federal regulators rolled back decades-old rules on Thursday, making it far easier for media outlets to be bought and sold -- potentially leading to more newspapers, radio stations and television broadcasters being owned by a handful of companies. The regulations, eliminated in a 3-to-2 vote by the Federal Communications Commission, were first put in place in the 1970s to ensure that a diversity of voices and opinions could be heard on the air or in print. But now those rules represent a threat to small outlets that are struggling to survive in a vastly different media world, according to FCC Chairman Ajit Pai. One long-standing rule repealed Thursday prevented one company in a given media market from owning both a daily newspaper and a TV station. Another rule blocked TV stations in the same market from merging with each other if the combination would leave fewer than eight independently owned stations. The agency also took aim at rules restricting the number of TV and radio stations that any media company could simultaneously own in a single market. A major beneficiary of the deregulatory moves, analysts say, is Sinclair, a conservative broadcasting company that is seeking to buy up Tribune Media for $3.9 billion.

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Categories: Geeky Stuff

PlayerUnknown starts filling in the desert map blanks with new Battlegrounds screens

Eurogamer - Fri, 17/11/2017 - 01:55

PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds developer Bluehole is continuing to fill in the blanks of the game's long-awaited, and hugely anticipated, desert map.

The insatiable clamour for new details can largely be blamed on the tortuously slow drip-feed of information that followed the map's official unveiling earlier this year. And here we go again, with the release of five new desert map images.

These are a little different, and maybe a little more interesting than previous screens released by PlayerUnknown maestro Brendan Greene though. While earlier shots focussed on the map's busy urban areas and impeccably sandy atmospherics, the new shots go a little off the beaten path, showing some of the notable (and likely enormously useful when you're trying not to get your head blown off) features and landmarks away from civilisation.

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Categories: Video Games

China Builds World's Fastest Hypersonic Wind Tunnel To Simulate Flight At 27,000 MPH

Slashdot - Fri, 17/11/2017 - 01:20
schwit1 quotes a report from South China Morning Post: China is building the world's fastest wind tunnel to simulate hypersonic flight at speeds of up to 12 kilometers per second (~27,000 miles per hour). Zhao Wei, a senior scientist working on the project, said researchers aimed to have the facility up and running by around 2020 to meet the pressing demand of China's hypersonic weapon development program. "It will boost the engineering application of hypersonic technology, mostly in military sectors, by duplicating the environment of extreme hypersonic flights, so problems can be discovered and solved on the ground," said Zhao. The world's most powerful wind tunnel at present is America's LENX-X facility in Buffalo, New York state, which operates at speeds of up to 10 kilometers per second -- 30 times the speed of sound. Hypersonic aircraft are defined as vehicles that travel at speeds of Mach 5, five times the speed of sound, or above. In the new tunnel there will be a test chamber with room for relatively large aircraft models with a wing span of almost three meters. To generate an airflow at extremely high speeds, the researchers will detonate several tubes containing a mixture of oxygen, hydrogen and nitrogen gases to create a series of explosions that can discharge one gigawatt of power within a split second, according to Zhao. The shock waves, channelled into the test chamber through a metallic tunnel, will envelope the prototype vehicle and increase the temperature over its body to 8,000 Kelvins, or 7,727 degrees Celsius, Zhao said. The new tunnel would also be used to test the scramjet, a new type of jet engine designed specifically for hypersonic flights. Traditional jet engines are not capable of handling air flows at such speeds.

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Categories: Geeky Stuff

Jack Dorsey Responds To Serial Killer Who Found His Victims Through Suicidal Twitter Posts

Slashdot - Fri, 17/11/2017 - 00:40
AmiMoJo shares a report from NHK WORLD: Twitter's CEO is reacting to a grisly case in Japan where a suspected serial killer allegedly found his victims through their suicidal posts on the social media platform. In an interview with NHK, Jack Dorsey said it is unrealistic and impossible to remove suicidal tweets. But he said he hoped Twitter could become a tool for prevention. Last month, the dismembered bodies of 9 people were found in 27-year-old Takahiro Shiraishi's apartment near Tokyo. Police say he admitted to the killings. They believe he preyed on people who posted about wanting to kill themselves on Twitter. Recently, Twitter updated its rules regarding posts about self-harm: "You may not promote or encourage suicide or self-harm. When we receive reports that a person is threatening suicide or self-harm, we may take a number of steps to assist them, such as reaching out to that person and providing resources such as contact information for our mental health partners."

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Categories: Geeky Stuff

New EU Consumer Protection Law Contains a Vague Website Blocking Clause

Slashdot - Fri, 17/11/2017 - 00:00
An anonymous reader quotes a report from Bleeping Computer: The European Union (EU) has voted on Tuesday, November 14, to pass the new Consumer Protection Cooperation regulation, a new EU-wide applicable law that gives extra power to national consumer protection agencies, but which also contains a vaguely worded clause that also grants them the power to block and take down websites without judicial oversight. The new law "establishes overreaching Internet blocking measures that are neither proportionate nor suitable for the goal of protecting consumers and come without mandatory judicial oversight," Member of the European Parliament Julia Reda said in a speech in the European Parliament Plenary during a last ditch effort to amend the law. "According to the new rules, national consumer protection authorities can order any unspecified third party to block access to websites without requiring judicial authorization," Reda added later in the day on her blog. This new law is an EU regulation and not a directive, meaning its obligatory for all EU states, which do not have to individually adopt it.

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Categories: Geeky Stuff

The Surge's big amusement park expansion now has a proper release date

Eurogamer - Thu, 16/11/2017 - 23:47

Developer Deck13 has released the first footage of A Walk in the Park, its upcoming, large-scale expansion for Dark-Souls-inspired sci-fi adventure The Surge - which, it's now revealed, will launch for PC, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One on December 5th.

A Walk in the Park was announced last month and is the first major expansion for The Surge. It promises to offer a bit of a structural departure from the base game, trading claustrophobic industrial corridors for the vibrant openness of the CREO World amusement park - which, as you'd expect from any theme park worth its salt, comes complete with rollercoasters, a ferris wheel, and murderous robot mascots. All of which looks a little something like this:

Deck13 described A Walk in the Park's new amusement-park-themed map as more "open" than anything previously seen in The Surge, "full of branching paths and secrets to discover". And if newfound traversal freedom isn't enough to be getting on with, the expansion also includes 16 new weapons, armour sets, and implants.

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Categories: Video Games

Federal Extreme Vetting Plan Castigated By Tech Experts

Slashdot - Thu, 16/11/2017 - 23:15
An anonymous reader shares an Associated Press report: Leading researchers castigated a federal plan that would use artificial intelligence methods to scrutinize immigrants and visa applicants, saying it is unworkable as written and likely to be "inaccurate and biased" if deployed. The experts, a group of more than 50 computer and data scientists, mathematicians and other specialists in automated decision-making, urged the Department of Homeland Security to abandon the project, dubbed the "Extreme Vetting Initiative." That plan has its roots in President Donald Trump's repeated pledge during the 2016 campaign to subject immigrants seeking admission to the United States to more intense ideological scrutiny -- or, as he put it, "extreme vetting." Over the summer, DHS published a "statement of objectives" for a system that would use computer algorithms to scan social media and other material in order to automatically flag undesirable entrants -- and to continuously scan the activities of those allowed into the U.S.

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Categories: Geeky Stuff

ReCore studio Armature's next game is Fail Factory for Gear VR

Eurogamer - Thu, 16/11/2017 - 22:45

ReCore studio Armature has announced its latest game: Fail Factory for Gear VR.

Fail Factory - "a wacky VR game of escalating failure" - is a physics-based mini-game compilation set in the "no consequences playground" of a whimsical robot factory. "In a wacky spectacle of increasing chaos," says Armature, "strive to keep up with the escalating comedy of errors as you operate various assembly lines in a myriad of mini-games."

And if you're wondering what that looks like in practice, there's an energetic, if not entirely illuminating, teaser trailer to accompany the announcement.

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Categories: Video Games

ReCoil studio Armature's next game is Fail Factory for Gear VR

Eurogamer - Thu, 16/11/2017 - 22:45

ReCoil studio Armature has announced its latest game: Fail Factory for Gear VR.

Fail Factory - "a wacky VR game of escalating failure" - is a physics-based mini-game compilation set in the "no consequences playground" of a whimsical robot factory. "In a wacky spectacle of increasing chaos," says Armature, "strive to keep up with the escalating comedy of errors as you operate various assembly lines in a myriad of mini-games."

And if you're wondering what that looks like in practice, there's an energetic, if not entirely illuminating, teaser trailer to accompany the announcement.

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Categories: Video Games

Firefox Will Block Navigational Data URIs as Part of an Anti-Phishing Feature

Slashdot - Thu, 16/11/2017 - 22:35
Catalin Cimpanu, writing for BleepingComputer: Mozilla will soon block the loading of data URIs in the Firefox navigation bar as part of a crackdown on phishing sites that abuse this protocol. The data: URI scheme (RFC 2397) was deployed in 1998 when developers were looking for ways to embed files in other files. What they came up with was the data: URI scheme that allows a developer to load a file represented as an ASCII-encoded octet stream inside another document. Since then, the URI scheme has become very popular with website developers as it allows them to embed text-based (CSS or JS) files or image (PNG, JPEG) files inside HTML documents instead of loading each resource via a separate HTTP request. This practice became hugely popular because search engines started ranking websites based on their page loading speed and the more HTTP requests a website made, the slower it loaded, and the more it affected a site's SERP position.

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Categories: Geeky Stuff

Hollywood Strikes Back Against Illegal Streaming Kodi Add-ons

Slashdot - Thu, 16/11/2017 - 21:50
An anonymous reader shares a report: An anti-piracy alliance supported by many major US and UK movie studios, broadcasters and content providers has dealt a blow to the third-party Kodi add-on scene after it successfully forced a number of popular piracy-linked streaming tools offline. In what appears to be a coordinated crackdown, developers including jsergio123 and The_Alpha, who are responsible for the development and hosting of add-ons like urlresolver, metahandler, Bennu, DeathStreams and Sportie, confirmed that they will no longer maintain their Kodi creations and have immediately shut them down.

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Categories: Geeky Stuff

Fans can decide Minecraft's newest mob during the MineCon Earth livestream this weekend

Eurogamer - Thu, 16/11/2017 - 21:18

As part of MineCon Earth 2017 this weekend, Minecraft fans will have the opportunity to vote for one of four brand-new mobs, with the most popular creature making it into the game.

MineCon is, of course, Minecraft's enormous annual community event in which many cube-shaped things are celebrated and shown. The set-up this year is a little bit different, however; rather than taking place in a major city out in the real-world, MineCon Earth 2017 will be a much swifter, entirely livestreamed affair. Oh, and it's presented by Will Arnett.

If you fancy having your say on Minecraft's newest mob, voting will occur during the livestream on Saturday, November 18th. MineCon Earth is due to begin at 5pm in the UK and will last around 90 minutes.

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Categories: Video Games

Apology After Japanese Train Departs 20 Seconds Early

Slashdot - Thu, 16/11/2017 - 21:05
Several readers share a BBC report: A rail company in Japan has apologised after one of its trains departed 20 seconds early. Management on the Tsukuba Express line between Tokyo and the city of Tsukuba say they "sincerely apologise for the inconvenience" caused. In a statement, the company said the train had been scheduled to leave at 9:44:40 local time but left at 9:44:20. Many social media users reacted to the company's apology with surprise. "Tokyo train company's apology for 20-second-early departure is one of the best things about Japan," a user wrote. The mistake happened because staff had not checked the timetable, the company statement said.

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Categories: Geeky Stuff

Amazon Key Flaw Could Let Rogue Deliverymen Disable Your Camera

Slashdot - Thu, 16/11/2017 - 20:26
Security researchers claim to have discovered a flaw in Amazon's Key Service, which if exploited, could let a driver re-enter your house after dropping off a delivery. From a report: When Amazon launched its Amazon Key service last month, it also offered a remedy for anyone who might be creeped out that the service gives random strangers unfettered access to your home. That security antidote? An internet-enabled camera called Cloud Cam, designed to sit opposite your door and reassuringly record every Amazon Key delivery. Security researchers have demonstrated that with a simple program run from any computer in Wi-Fi range, that camera can be not only disabled, but frozen. A viewer watching its live or recorded stream sees only a closed door, even as their actual door is opened and someone slips inside. That attack would potentially enable rogue delivery people to stealthily steal from Amazon customers, or otherwise invade their inner sanctum. And while the threat of a camera-hacking courier seems an unlikely way for your house to be burgled, the researchers argue it potentially strips away a key safeguard in Amazon's security system. When WIRED brought the research to Amazon's attention, the company responded that it plans to send out an automatic software update to address the issue later this week.

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Categories: Geeky Stuff

Jelly Deals: PlayStation VR bundle for £249.99 includes Skyrim VR or GT Sport

Eurogamer - Thu, 16/11/2017 - 20:00

A note from the editor: Jelly Deals is a deals site launched by our parent company, Gamer Network, with a mission to find the best bargains out there. Look out for the Jelly Deals roundup of reduced-price games and kit every Saturday on Eurogamer.

Update 17/11/2017: This offer is now live at various retailers, you can find it on the links below:

Original post: Today, PlayStation UK has announced not only its first officially sanctioned Black Friday deal of the year, but also the first major price cut to its PlayStation VR headset, in a limited-time bundle.

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Categories: Video Games

OnePlus 5T Featuring 6-inch AMOLED Display, 3.5mm Headphone Jack Launched

Slashdot - Thu, 16/11/2017 - 19:38
Chinese smartphone maker OnePlus, which has been lauded by consumers for offering phones with top-of-the-line specs at a reasonably affordable price range, on Thursday at an event in New York announced its newest flagship smartphone. Called the OnePlus 5T, the handset sports a 6.01-inch AMOLED screen (screen resolution 1080 x 2160) manufactured by Samsung in a body that is roughly of the same size as the 5.5-inch display-clad predecessor OnePlus 5. The secret sauce is, much like Samsung, LG and Apple, OnePlus has moved to a near bezel-less design. The company is not getting rid of the fingerprint scanner though, which it has pushed to the back side. The front-facing camera, additionally, OnePlus says, can be used to unlock the device. Other features include a 3,300mAh battery with the company's proprietary Dash Charge fast-charging tech (no wireless charging support -- the company says at present wireless charging doesn't really add much value to the device), top-of-the-line Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 processor with Adreno 540, 6GB of RAM with 64GB of storage (there is another variant of the phone which offers 8GB of RAM with 128GB of space). As for camera, we are looking at a dual 16-megapixel and 20-megapixel setup in the back. One more thing: the phone has a headphone jack and it runs Android 7.1 out of the box. The OnePlus 5T will go on sale in Europe, India, and the United States starting November 21st, with the base model priced at Euro 499, INR 32,999, and $499, respectively. The high-end variant is priced at Euro 559, INR 37,999, and $559. Wired has more details.

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Categories: Geeky Stuff

Phone Companies Get New Tools To Block Spam Calls

Slashdot - Thu, 16/11/2017 - 18:51
An anonymous reader shares a report: Phone companies will have greater authority to block questionable calls from reaching customers as regulators adopted new rules to combat automated messages known as robocalls. Rules adopted Thursday by the Federal Communications Commission represent the latest tools against "robocalls," which pester consumers, sometimes multiple times each day, and often push scams. Phone companies can already block some calls that trick consumers by showing up on Caller ID with fake numbers. The new rules make clear that they can block additional calls that are likely scams, such as numbers that start with a 911 area code, or one that isn't currently assigned to anyone.

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Categories: Geeky Stuff

Internal Kaspersky Investigation Says NSA Worker's Computer Was Infested with Malware

Slashdot - Thu, 16/11/2017 - 18:12
A reader shares a report: The personal computer of an NSA worker who took government hacking tools and classified documents home with him was infected with a backdoor trojan, unrelated to these tools, that could have been used by criminal hackers to steal the US government files, according to a new report being released Thursday by Kaspersky Lab in response to recent allegations against the company. The Moscow-based antivirus firm, which has been accused of using its security software to improperly grab NSA hacking tools and classified documents from the NSA worker's home computer and provide them to the Russian government, says the worker had at least 120 other malicious files on his home computer in addition to the backdoor, and that the latter, which had purportedly been created by a Russian criminal hacker and sold in an underground forum, was trying to actively communicate with a malicious command-and-control server during the time Kaspersky is accused of siphoning the US government files from the worker's computer. Costin Raiu, director of the company's Global Research and Analysis Team, told Motherboard that his company's software detected and prevented that communication but there was a period of time when the worker had disabled his Kaspersky software and left his computer unprotected. Raiu says they found evidence that the NSA worker may have been infected with a second backdoor as well, though they saw no sign of it trying to communicate with an external server so they don't know if it was active on his computer.

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Categories: Geeky Stuff

Skyrim supports Nintendo Switch's new video capture feature

Eurogamer - Thu, 16/11/2017 - 18:07

Nintendo Switch has supported video recording for a few weeks now (simply hold down that capture button). It was introduced just in time for the launch of Super Mario Odyssey but only a handful of Nintendo's own games have supported it.

That all changes today with the release of Skyrim, developed and published by Betheseda. The open-world role-player will be the first third-party game released worldwide to support video capture, according to Aussie site Vooks, which has an early copy.

You'll need to download a small day one update to Skyrim in order to unlock video capture, but then you're away. Now, does it still have those backwards-flying dragons?

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Categories: Video Games
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