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MoviePass Is Limiting Selection To 'Up To Six Films' a Day

Slashdot - Fri, 17/08/2018 - 02:03
MoviePass is changing things up once again. In an email, CEO Mitch Lowe outlined the latest updates to the once-unlimited subscription plan. Most notable among the changes is the limiting of selection to "up to six films to choose from daily, including a selection of major studio first-run films and independent releases." TechCrunch reports: On top of that, there may be further limitations on showtime availability for the selected titles, based on "the popularity of those films on the app that particular day." The company has already begun limiting access to specific films, starting with a barring of major blockbusters and moving toward limiting selection generally. Now users can go to the "This Week's Movies" page to see what's available. Right now, there's a semi-consistent, rotating selection. Which movies are chosen and when will likely be at least partially dependent on deals struck between MoviePass and studios/distributors.

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Kroger Launches Autonomous Grocery Delivery Service In Arizona

Slashdot - Fri, 17/08/2018 - 01:20
Residents of Scottsdale, Arizona will be able to receive autonomous grocery deliveries from Kroger-owned Fry's Food Stores. The technology required to make this all possible is supplied by Nuro, a self-driving vehicle startup founded by two veterans of Google's self-driving car project. Ars Technica reports: Kroger says that deliveries will have a flat $5.95 delivery fee, and customers can schedule same-day or next-day deliveries. Initially, the deliveries will be made by Nuro's fleet of modified Toyota Priuses with a safety driver behind the wheel. But Kroger expects to start using Nuro's production model -- which doesn't even have space for a driver -- this fall. That vehicle, known as the R1, is significantly smaller and lighter than a conventional passenger car. When we talked to Nuro cofounder Dave Ferguson back in May, he argued that the R1's design had significant safety benefits. A smaller, lighter vehicle would do less damage if it ever ran into something. The vehicle's maximum speed of 25 miles per hour also makes serious injuries less likely. And the fact that the car is dramatically narrower than a traditional car gives it significant safety benefits, Ferguson argued.

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Google Employees Protest Secret Work On Censored Search Engine For China

Slashdot - Fri, 17/08/2018 - 00:40
According to The New York Times, "Hundreds of Google employees, upset at the company's decision to secretly build a censored version of its search engine for China, have signed a letter demanding more transparency to understand the ethical consequences of their work (Warning: source may be paywalled; alternative source)." In the letter, the employees wrote that the project and Google's apparent willingness to abide by China's censorship requirements "raise urgent moral and ethical issues." They added, "Currently we do not have the information required to make ethically-informed decisions about our work, our projects, and our employment." From the report: The letter is circulating on Google's internal communication systems and is signed by about 1,000 employees, according to two people familiar with the document, who were not authorized to speak publicly. The letter also called on Google to allow employees to participate in ethical reviews of the company's products, to appoint external representatives to ensure transparency and to publish an ethical assessment of controversial projects. The document referred to the situation as a "code yellow," a process used in engineering to address critical problems that impact several teams.

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FDA Approves First Generic Version of EpiPen

Slashdot - Fri, 17/08/2018 - 00:00
An anonymous reader quotes a report from ABC News: The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has approved the first generic version of the EpiPen and EpiPen Jr auto injector for the emergency treatment of allergic reactions. The approval is part of the FDA's "longstanding commitment" to providing access to low-cost generic alternatives, FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb said in a statement. It is unclear how much the generic product -- manufactured by Teva Pharmaceuticals -- will cost. In August 2016, Mylan Pharmaceuticals was criticized for raising the price of a two-pack of EpiPens to $600. The price of two EpiPens was about $100 in 2009. The brand name version is by far the most popular epinephrine auto-injector on the market. "This approval means patients living with severe allergies who require constant access to life-saving epinephrine should have a lower-cost option, as well as another approved product to help protect against potential drug shortages," said FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb in a statement.

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Twitter's Relationship With Third-Party Apps is Messy -- But It's Not Over

Slashdot - Thu, 16/08/2018 - 23:20
It's a day that developers of some of the most high-profile Twitter third-party apps have dreaded, though it's one they've long-known was coming: Twitter is finally shutting off some of the developer tools that popular apps like Tweetbot and Twitterific have heavily relied on. From a report: With the change, many third-party Twitter apps will lose some functionality, like the ability to instantly refresh users' Twitter feeds and send push notifications. It won't make these apps unusable -- in some cases the apps' users may not even immediately notice the changes -- but it's a drastic enough change that developers have mounted a public campaign against the decision. Now, Twitter is finally weighing in on the changes, after months of publicly declining to comment on the state of third-party Twitter clients. The verdict, unsurprisingly, is complicated. The company is adamant that its goal isn't to single out these developers. The company is retiring these APIs out of necessity, it says, as it's no longer feasible to support them."We are sunsetting very old, legacy software that we don't have an ability to keep supporting for practical reasons," says Ian Caims, group product manager at Twitter. At the same time, though, the company has also made a conscious decision not to create new APIs with the same functionality. Here's how Twitter's senior director of product management Rob Johnson explains the move: "It is now time to make the hard decision to end support for these legacy APIs -- acknowledging that some aspects of these apps would be degraded as a result. Today, we are facing technical and business constraints we can't ignore. The User Streams and Site Streams APIs that serve core functions of many of these clients have been in a 'beta' state for more than 9 years, and are built on a technology stack we no longer support.

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A Paper Posted Last Month Claims To Have Achieved Superconductivity at Room Temperature, But Other Physicists Say the Data May Be Incorrect

Slashdot - Thu, 16/08/2018 - 22:40
dmoberhaus writes: Last month, two Indian physicists posted a paper to arxiv claiming to have demonstrated superconductivity at room temperature. If this paper is legitimate, it would represent a breakthrough in a problem that has existed for superconductivity for 100 years. Understandably, the paper shook the physics world, but when researchers started digging into the data they noticed something wasn't quite right -- the noise patterns in two independent measurements exactly correlated, which is basically impossible in a random system. The Indian researchers have doubled down on their data, and things only got weirder from there. This is a look inside what could be the biggest drama to happen in physics in nearly a decade.

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Return of the Bubble Car?

Slashdot - Thu, 16/08/2018 - 22:00
mikeebbbd writes: Back in the 1950s, many European carmakers (some of which are still in operation such as BMW) made tiny cars for one or 2 people that ran on tiny amount of gas. The remaining examples of bubble cars have become sort of a fetish. Now two Swiss brothers, according to Reuters, are trying to resurrect one of the more iconic designs -- the BMW Isetta. One wonders how it could meet any kind of safety standards, but a prototype is shown in the article. Perhaps it might be registered as a Neighborhood Electric Vehicle, which gets it by a few standards? Oliver and Merlin Ouboter have more than 7,200 orders for their Microlino, a modern version of the Isetta which swaps the old single-cylinder petrol engine for a 20 horsepower electric motor but keeps the famous front-opening door. The brothers, whose father Wim made millions from modernized kick-scooters, plan to launch the car in December. "The average modern car is way too big for normal use," said Oliver, the project's 24-year-old operations chief.

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ARM Makes Its CPU Roadmap Public, Challenges Intel in PCs With Deimos and Hercules Chips

Slashdot - Thu, 16/08/2018 - 21:20
With PC makers like Asus and HP beginning to design laptops and tablets around ARM chips, ARM itself has decided to emerge from the shadows and unroll its roadmap to challenge Intel through at least 2020, PCWorld writes. From a report, which details ARM's announcement Thursday: ARM's now-public roadmap represents its first processors that are designed for the PC space. ARM, taking aim at the dominant player, claims its chips will equal and potentially even surpass Intel's in single-threaded performance. ARM is unveiling two new chip architectures: Deimos, a 7nm architecture to debut in 2019, and Hercules, a 5nm design for 2020. There's a catch, of course: Many Windows apps aren't natively written for the ARM instruction set, forcing them to pay a performance penalty via emulation. Comparing itself to Intel is a brightly-colored signpost that ARM remains committed to the PC market, however. ARM-powered PCs like the Asus NovaGo offer game-changing battery life -- but the performance suffers, for two reasons: One, because the computing power of ARM's cores has lagged behind those of the Intel Core family; and two, because any apps that the ARM chip can't process natively have to be emulated. ARM can't do much about Microsoft's development path, but it can increase its own performance. Finally, if you were concerned that ARM PCs will be a flash in the pan, the answer is no, apparently not. Further reading: ARM Reveals First Public CPU Roadmap - Targeting Intel Performance (PC Perspective); and ARM Unveils Client CPU Performance Roadmap Through 2020 - Taking Intel Head On (AnandTech).

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The World Economic Forum Warns That AI May Destabilize the Financial System

Slashdot - Thu, 16/08/2018 - 20:40
Artificial intelligence will reshape the world of finance over the next decade or so by automating investing and other services -- but it could also introduce troubling systematic weaknesses and risks, according to a new report from the World Economic Forum (WEF). From a report: Compiled through interviews with dozens of leading financial experts and industry leaders, the report concludes that artificial intelligence will disrupt the industry by allowing early adopters to outmaneuver competitors. It also suggests that the technology will create more convenient products for consumers, such as sophisticated tools for managing personal finances and investments. But most notably, the report points to the potential for big financial institutions to build machine-learning-based services that live in the cloud and are accessed by other institutions. "The dynamics of machine learning create a strong incentive to network the back office," says the report's main author, Jesse McWaters, who leads the AI in Financial Services Project at the World Economic Forum. "A more networked world is more vulnerable to cybersecurity risks, and it also creates concentration risks." Further reading: AI to Reshape Finance, Say Executives Who Struggle to Define It.

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36 of 50 States Have Installed Sensors at 'Elections Infrastructure Level' To Monitor Computer Systems Managing Voter Data or Devices

Slashdot - Thu, 16/08/2018 - 20:00
A majority of U.S. states has adopted technology that allows the federal government to see inside state computer systems managing voter data or voting devices in order to root out hackers. From a report: Two years after Russian hackers breached voter registration databases in Illinois and Arizona, most states have begun using the government-approved equipment, according to three sources with knowledge of the deployment. Voter registration databases are used to verify the identity of voters when they visit polling stations. The rapid adoption of the so-called Albert sensors, a $5,000 piece of hardware developed by the Center for Internet Security www.cisecurity.org, illustrates the broad concern shared by state government officials ahead of the 2018 midterm elections, government cybersecurity experts told Reuters. [...] As of August 7, 36 of 50 states had installed Albert at the "elections infrastructure level," according to a Department of Homeland Security official. The official said that 74 individual sensors across 38 counties and other local government offices have been installed. Only 14 such sensors were installed before the U.S. presidential election in 2016.

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Debian Linux Turns 25

Slashdot - Thu, 16/08/2018 - 19:20
BrianFagioli writes: Debian is one of the most important open source projects ever. The Debian Linux operating system is extremely popular in its own right, but also, it is used as the base for countless other distributions. Ubuntu, for instance -- one of the most-used distros -- is Debian-based. Even Linux Mint, which is based on Ubuntu, also has a Debian edition. Not to mention, Raspbian -- the official Raspberry Pi OS -- which is based on Debian too. Today, Debian is celebrating a very important milestone -- a 25th birthday! Yes, it is seriously that old -- its development was announced on August 16, 1993. When the late Ian Murdock announced 25 years ago in comp.os.linux.development, the imminent completion of a brand-new Linux release, [...] the Debian Linux Release', nobody would have expected the 'Debian Linux Release' would become what's nowadays known as the Debian Project, one of the largest and most influential free software projects. "Its primary product is Debian, a free operating system (OS) for your computer, as well as for plenty of other systems which enhance your life. From the inner workings of your nearby airport to your car entertainment system, and from cloud servers hosting your favorite websites to the IoT devices that communicate with them, Debian can power it all," says Ana Guerrero Lopez of Debian. Further reading: Slackware, Oldest Actively Maintained GNU/Linux Distribution, Turns 25.

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NYU Offers Full-Tuition Scholarships for All Medical Students

Slashdot - Thu, 16/08/2018 - 18:40
New York University said Thursday that it will cover tuition for all its medical students regardless of their financial situation, a first among the nation's major medical schools and an attempt to expand career options for graduates who won't be saddled with six-figure debt [Editor's note: the link may be paywalled]. From a report: School officials worry that rising tuition and soaring loan balances are pushing new doctors into high-paying fields and contributing to a shortage of researchers and primary care physicians. Medical schools nationwide have been conducting aggressive fundraising campaigns to compete for top prospects, alleviate the debt burden and give graduates more career choices. NYU raised more than $450 million of the roughly $600 million it estimates it will need to fund the tuition package in perpetuity, including $100 million from Home Depot founder Kenneth Langone and his wife, Elaine. The school will provide full-tuition scholarships for 92 first-year students -- another 10 are already covered through M.D./PhD programs -- as well as 350 students already partway through the M.D.-only degree program.

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Diablo 3 for Nintendo Switch detailed in full

Eurogamer - Thu, 16/08/2018 - 18:00

Blizzard has confirmed that it is bringing Diablo 3 to Nintendo Switch, as Eurogamer reported earlier this year. The news was shared with press this week under an embargo which was broken by one outlet yesterday, though we can now reveal some additional details - and we'll be able to bring you hands-on impressions from Gamescom next week.

As per the leak, this full-featured port includes all expansion content to date, as well as several Switch-exclusive bonus items, and the release date is "tentatively fall this year", according to senior producer Pete Stilwell. Diablo 3 for Switch will be a port of the recently released Eternal Collection edition, which includes both the Reaper of Souls and Rise of the Necromancer expansions. It has every feature of the existing console versions, which themselves are very close in feature set to the PC version of the game, although they play a little differently.

As is becoming customary, Switch owners get a little extra Nintendo fan-service, too - Legend of Zelda-flavoured, in this case. There's a cosmetic "transmog" armour set modelled on Zelda villain Ganondorf, a cucco (chicken) pet, a Triforce portrait frame and a set of wings for your characters to wear.

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Categories: Video Games

Melbourne Teen Hacked Into Apple's Secure Computer Network, Court Told

Slashdot - Thu, 16/08/2018 - 18:00
A Melbourne private schoolboy who repeatedly broke into Apple's secure computer systems is facing criminal charges after the technology giant called in the FBI. From a report: The teen, who cannot be named for legal reasons, broke into Apple's mainframe from his suburban home on multiple occasions over a year because he was such a fan of the company, according to his lawyer. The Children's Court heard on Thursday that he had downloaded 90GB of secure files and accessed customer accounts. His offending from the age of 16 saw him develop computerized tunnels and online bypassing systems to hide his identity until a raid on his family home uncovered a litany of hacking files and instructions all saved in a folder titled "hacky hack hack."

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Pokémon Go Celebi research quest unlocks next week

Eurogamer - Thu, 16/08/2018 - 17:22

Pokémon Go's second Mythical Pokémon, Celebi, will become available through a new Special Research questline starting on 20th August.

Expect tasks to reward XP, items and Pokémon encounters as you work your way to snagging Celebi itself.

Celebi was first released last month for the 21,000 Pokémon Go players who snagged tickets to the game's successful Chicago Go Fest event. Anyone who was there - you can read my experiences right here - will still be able to complete the questline and be awarded with an armful of extra Celebi candy instead.

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Categories: Video Games

To Catch A Robber, The FBI Attempted An Unprecedented Grab For Google Location Data

Slashdot - Thu, 16/08/2018 - 17:20
Back in March, as it investigated a spate of armed robberies across Portland, Maine, the FBI made an astonishing, unprecedented request of Google, Forbes reports. The feds wanted the tech giant to find all users of its services who'd been within the vicinity of at least two of nine of those robberies. They limited the search to within 30-minute timeframes around when the crimes were committed. But the request covered a total space of 45 hectares and could've included anyone with an Android or iPhone using Google's tools, not just the suspect. From a report: The FBI then demanded a lot of personal information on affected users, including their full names and addresses, as well as their Google account activity. The feds also wanted all affected users' historical locations. According to court records, while Google didn't provide the information, the cops still found their suspect in the end. Outside of concerns around government overreach, the FBI's remarkable attempt to force Google to assist in its investigation will likely worry all who were disturbed by an Associated Press investigation published on Monday that claimed Google continued to track people even when they turned location features off. The court warrants unearthed by Forbes indicate some at the FBI believe they have a right to that location data too, even if it belongs to innocents who might be unwittingly caught up in invasive government surveillance. And the government feels such fishing expeditions are permissable; it issued the warrant on Google without knowing whether or not the suspect used an Android device or any of the company services at all.

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China's 'First Fully Homegrown' Web Browser, Used By Key Government Bodies, Under Fire For 'Heavily' Copying Google Chrome Files

Slashdot - Thu, 16/08/2018 - 16:40
Redcore, a Chinese start-up that claims to have produced a homegrown browser used by key government bodies and state-run companies, has come under fire after users discovered its software was heavily based on Google's Chrome browser [Editor's note: the link may be paywalled; alternative source]. From a report: The company, which says it has created "innovative and world-leading" browser technology, came under scrutiny on Thursday when users looked through the browser's installation directory and discovered an original "chrome.exe" file along with image files of the Chrome logo. "We have launched the world's only purely China-owned browser Redcore, to break the US monopoly," the company said in a statement on Wednesday. The Financial Times verified Chinese users' findings and found with its own examination that Redcore was using components from the v. 49 version of Google Chrome. "Redcore has Chrome [elements] in it," said company founder Gao Jing in response to fierce public criticism. "But this is not plagiarism; rather, we are standing on the shoulders of a giant for our own innovation," she added, according to local media reports. Ms Gao was also quoted as saying that the company had so far been doing very well in terms of customer satisfaction.

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Resident Evil 2's UK Collector's Edition contains a 12" Leon

Eurogamer - Thu, 16/08/2018 - 16:00

Capcom has confirmed the existence of a fancy (if familiar) Resident Evil 2 Collector's Edition for PS4 and Xbox One in the UK - which contains, among other things, a poster, some keys, and a 12" Leon.

Resident Evil 2's UK Collector's Edition is admittedly not quite as fancy as the top-tier special edition available in Japan, which contains a vintage-style bluetooth keyboard inspired by the classic Resident Evil typewriter save points. On the plus side, the UK edition doesn't feature the same 75,000 yen/£530 price tag either.

Instead, Capcom's UK offering is very similar to one of its (many) other Japanese special editions, this one featuring the aforementioned 12" Leon, in imposing figurine form, a classic-style Raccoon Police Station poster, a box of actually-rather-nifty police station keys (complete with playing card suit motifs), plus an art book, soundtrack CD, and a Made in Heaven pin. The latter being inspired by the design on Chris Redfield's jacket.

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Categories: Video Games

Trump, Seeking To Relax Rules on US Cyberattacks, Reverses Obama Directive

Slashdot - Thu, 16/08/2018 - 16:00
President Trump has reversed an Obama-era memorandum dictating how and when the U.S. government can deploy cyberweapons against its adversaries, in an effort to loosen restrictions on such operations [Editor's note: the link may be paywalled; alternative source], WSJ reports. From the report: Mr. Trump signed an order on Wednesday reversing the classified rules, known as Presidential Policy Directive 20, that had mapped out an elaborate interagency process that must be followed before U.S. use of cyberattacks, particularly those geared at foreign adversaries. The change was described as an "offensive step forward" by an administration official briefed on the decision, one intended to help support military operations, deter foreign election influence and thwart intellectual property theft by meeting such threats with more forceful responses. The Trump administration has faced pressure to show that it is taking seriously national-security cyberthreats -- particularly those that intelligence officials say are posed by Moscow.

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Next Sniper Ghost Warrior game announced

Eurogamer - Thu, 16/08/2018 - 15:55

CI Games has announced the sequel to its disappointing Sniper Ghost Warrior 3. As expected, it will ditch the series' failed attempt at open-world gameplay.

Sniper Ghost Warrior Contracts, due to launch in 2019 for PC, PlayStation 4 and Xbox One, will distill the series' scope back to smaller environments and - as its name suggests - add in a new contracts system.

Set in Siberia, Sniper Ghost Warrior Contracts sees the player shooting people over the snowy wilderness for fixed fees, with bonus payouts if you complete secondary objectives.

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