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WhatsApp makes web client compatible with Firefox and Opera

Engadget - Thu, 26/02/2015 - 08:25
Next time you have to access WhatsApp on your desktop, you won't need to fire up Chrome if it's not your preferred browser. The messenger's web client now works on both Firefox and Opera, giving you more choices on the computer, though you'll still o...

Uber Offers Free Rides To Koreans, Hopes They Won't Report Illegal Drivers

Slashdot - Thu, 26/02/2015 - 07:59
itwbennett writes Uber Technologies is offering free rides on its uberX ride-sharing service in the South Korean capital of Seoul, after city authorities intensified their crackdown on illegal drivers by offering a reward to residents who report Uber drivers to police. South Korean law prohibits unregistered drivers from soliciting passengers using private or rented vehicles and carries a penalty of up to two years in prison or fines of up to 20 million won.

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The Secret Service will start testing drones near the White House

Engadget - Thu, 26/02/2015 - 07:40
The Secret Service has just announced that it'll conduct a series of drone tests in typically flight restricted areas in DC. Why? Well, the announcement was pretty vague, but it did come a month after an intelligence officer drunk-crashed a DJI Phant...

WSJ: YouTube isn't making money, even with a billion viewers

Engadget - Thu, 26/02/2015 - 06:50
Despite "Gangnam Style" having over two billion views, hosting countless other viral clips and netting over a billion users per-month, YouTube can't seem to turn a profit. How's that? Well, after paying for the infrastructure that makes Google's vide...

5 White Collar Jobs Robots Already Have Taken

Slashdot - Thu, 26/02/2015 - 05:26
bizwriter writes University of Oxford researchers Carl Benedikt Frey and Michael Osborne estimated in 2013 that 47 percent of total U.S. jobs could be automated and taken over by computers by 2033. That now includes occupations once thought safe from automation, AI, and robotics. Such positions as journalists, lawyers, doctors, marketers, and financial analysts are already being invaded by our robot overlords. From the article: "Some experts say not to worry because technology has always created new jobs while eliminating old ones ones, displacing but not replacing workers. But lately, as technology has become more sophisticated, the drumbeat of worry has intensified. 'What’s different now?' asked Leigh Watson Healy, chief analyst at market research firm Outsell. 'The pace of technology advancements plus the big data phenomenon lead to a whole new level of machines to perform higher level cognitive tasks.' Translated: the old formula of creating more demanding jobs that need advanced training may no longer hold true. The number of people needed to oversee the machines, and to create them, is limited. Where do the many whose occupations have become obsolete go?"

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Paris spooked by mystery drone flights

Engadget - Thu, 26/02/2015 - 05:03
Paris has an unusual (and rather nerve-wracking) flying robot problem on its hands. Residents have spotted drones illegally flying over city landmarks over the past two evenings, including hotspots like the Eiffel Tower, the Invalides military museum...

Daily Roundup: Lenovo gets hacked, we explain Magic Leap and more!

Engadget - Thu, 26/02/2015 - 04:09
Lenovo experiences a bizarre hacking, Inspector Gadget makes a comeback and we do our best to explain what Magic Leap is. All this and more awaits you in our Daily Roundup!...

Reddit Imposes Ban On Sexual Content Posted Without Permission

Slashdot - Thu, 26/02/2015 - 03:03
Mark Wilson writes If you want to post naked pictures or videos of people on Reddit without their consent, you only have a couple of weeks to do so. As of March, the site is imposing a ban on content of an explicit nature that the subject has not given permission to be posted. The cleanup of the site comes hot on the heels of news from Google that explicit content will be banned from Blogger. It also comes in the wake of last year's Fappening which saw a glut of naked celebrity photos leaked online.

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LG's premium smartwatch now comes with LTE and mobile payments

Engadget - Thu, 26/02/2015 - 02:59
Believe it or not, LG already has an upgraded version of its luxurious Watch Urbane: meet the Watch Urbane LTE, a souped-up version that focuses on speedy mobile data. The timepiece (which isn't using Android Wear) isn't as substantial a phone replac...

Tinder-like Cute or Not app lets you rate pet photos

Engadget - Thu, 26/02/2015 - 02:37
In an unsolicited, but appreciated move, the folks at BuzzFeed have graciously created an app specifically for me. It's called "Cute or Not" and it gives me yet another avenue to share photos of my pup, Oliver. Surprisingly, though, the iOS app is al...

Samsung wants to put 128GB of fast storage in your next phone

Engadget - Thu, 26/02/2015 - 01:56
It's no longer hard to get a hefty 128GB of storage in a smartphone, but that doesn't mean you'll enjoy it. What's the point of all that extra space if your phone chugs handling huge games and 4K videos? Samsung has clearly anticipated this problem, ...

Argonne National Laboratory Shuts Down Online Ask a Scientist Program

Slashdot - Thu, 26/02/2015 - 01:10
itamblyn writes In a surprising decision, Argonne National Laboratory has decided to pull the plug on its long-standing NEWTON Ask A Scientist Program. NEWTON is (soon to be was) an on online repository of science questions submitted by school children from around the world. A volunteer group of scientists contributed grade-level appropriate answers to these questions. For the past 25 years, a wide range of topics ranging have been covered, including the classic "why is the sky blue" to "is there way to break down the components of plastics completely into their original form". Over the years, over 20,000 questions have been answered. According to ANL, the website will be shut down permanently on 1 March. There is no plan to make the content available in an alternate form or to hand over stewardship to another organization. When contacted about transferring the repository to another institution or moving to a donation model, the response from ANL was simply: "Thank you again for all your support for Newton. Unfortunately, moving Newton to another organization is not a possibility at this time. Thank you again for your energy and support."

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Lytro to focus on VR and video with $50 million investment

Engadget - Thu, 26/02/2015 - 00:55
Lytro -- maker of "shoot now, focus later" cameras -- is diving into the virtual reality and video market, following an investment of $50 million led by GSV Capital. The market shift means Lytro will lay off 25 - 50 of its 130 employees, and at the s...

Ceres' Mystery Bright Dots May Have Volcanic Origin

Slashdot - Thu, 26/02/2015 - 00:28
astroengine writes As NASA's Dawn mission slowly spirals in on its dwarf planet target, Ceres' alien landscape is becoming sharper by the day. And, at a distance of only 29,000 miles (46,000 kilometers), the robotic spacecraft has revealed multiple bright patches on the surface, but one of the brightest spots has revealed a dimmer bright patch right next door. "Ceres' bright spot can now be seen to have a companion of lesser brightness, but apparently in the same basin," said Chris Russell, of the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) and principal investigator for the Dawn mission. "This may be pointing to a volcano-like origin of the spots, but we will have to wait for better resolution before we can make such geologic interpretations."

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Samsung Galaxy S6 leak hints at a slim, glass-backed body

Engadget - Thu, 26/02/2015 - 00:14
HTC isn't the only mobile company having trouble keeping its 2015 flagship phone under wraps. XDA-Developers forum member reefur has posted photos of what's believed to be a prototype Samsung Galaxy S6 for AT&T. The tipster was understandably worried...

Developers Disclose Schematics For 50-1000 MHz Software-Defined Transceiver

Slashdot - Thu, 26/02/2015 - 00:06
Bruce Perens writes Chris Testa KD2BMH and I have been working for years on a software-defined transceiver that would be FCC-legal and could communicate using essentially any mode and protocol up to 1 MHz wide on frequencies between 50 and 1000 MHz. It's been discussed here before, most recently when Chris taught gate-array programming in Python. We are about to submit the third generation of the design for PCB fabrication, and hope that this version will be salable as a "developer board" and later as a packaged walkie-talkie, mobile, and base station. This radio is unique in that it uses your smartphone for the GUI, uses apps to provide communication modes, contains an on-board FLASH-based gate-array and a ucLinux system. We intend to go for FSF "Respects Your Freedom" certification for the device. My slide show contains 20 pages of schematics and is full of ham jargon ("HT" means "handi-talkie", an old Motorola product name and the hams word for "walkie talkie") but many non-hams should be able to parse it with some help from search engines. Bruce Perens K6BP

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Delta's in-flight WiFi is about to get a whole lot faster

Engadget - Wed, 25/02/2015 - 23:58
If you've flown Delta recently (or most domestic airlines) and tried to use the onboard Gogo WiFi, you know that it's often a crapshoot. A combination of where you're flying over and the number of passengers attempting to use it leads to either a dec...

3 Million Strong RAMNIT Botnet Taken Down

Slashdot - Wed, 25/02/2015 - 23:45
An anonymous reader writes The National Crime Agency's National Cyber Crime Unit worked with law enforcement colleagues in the Netherlands, Italy and Germany, co-ordinated through Europol's European Cybercrime Centre, to shut down command and control servers used by the RAMNIT botnet. Investigators believe that RAMNIT may have infected over three million computers worldwide, with around 33,000 of those being in the UK. It has so far largely been used to attempt to take money from bank accounts.

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Android for Work is ready to make your phone office-friendly

Engadget - Wed, 25/02/2015 - 23:35
Remember Android for Work, Google's big effort to make your smartphone safe for business? It's finally ready for prime time. The officially launched initiative lets you keep work-related accounts and app info separate from personal affairs while main...

US Govt and Private Sector Developing "Precrime" System Against Cyber-Attacks

Slashdot - Wed, 25/02/2015 - 23:05
An anonymous reader writes A division of the U.S. government's Intelligence Advanced Research Projects Activity (IARPA) unit, is inviting proposals from cybersecurity professionals and academics with a five-year view to creating a computer system capable of anticipating cyber-terrorist acts, based on publicly-available Big Data analysis. IBM is tentatively involved in the project, named CAUSE (Cyber-attack Automated Unconventional Sensor Environment), but many of its technologies are already part of the offerings from other interested organizations. Participants will not have access to NSA-intercepted data, but most of the bidding companies are already involved in analyses of public sources such as data on social networks. One company, Battelle, has included the offer to develop a technique for de-anonymizing BItcoin transactions (pdf) as part of CAUSE's security-gathering activities.

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