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IRL: The Phorce Freedom is a bag that trades space for versatility

Engadget - Thu, 29/01/2015 - 17:00
​At CES -- the world's largest tech show -- the intrepid reporter faces many challenges. Most of them involve sleep (lack of), nutrition (lack of), human beings (abundance of) and coffee (usually lack of, but often, taste of). As such, it's very impo...

Dell 2015 XPS 13: Smallest 13" Notebook With Broadwell-U, QHD+ Display Reviewed

Slashdot - Thu, 29/01/2015 - 16:50
MojoKid writes Dell's 2015 XPS 13 notebook made a splash out at CES this year with its near bezel-less 13-inch QHD+ (3200X1800) display and Intel's new 5th Gen Core series Broadwell-U processor. At 2.8 pounds, the 2015 XPS 13 isn't the absolute lightest 13-inch ultrabook book out there but it's lighter than a 13-inch MacBook Air and only a few ounces heavier than Lenovo's Core M-powered Yoga 3 Pro. The machine's Z dimensions are thin, at .33" up front to .6" at its back edge. However, its 11.98" width almost defies the laws of physics, squeezing a 13.3" (diagonal) display into an 11.98-inch frame making it what is essentially the smallest 13-inch ultrabook to hit the market yet. Performance-wise, this review shows its benchmarks numbers are strong and Intel's Broadwell-U seems to be an appreciable upgrade versus the previous generation architecture, along with lower power consumption.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

'Super Smash Bros.' 8-player mode just got a whole lot better

Engadget - Thu, 29/01/2015 - 16:41
Super Smash Bros. for Wii U raised the stakes for local multiplayer with its 8-Player Smash mode, but gamers were limited to just a few stages for the frantic action. That's changing today as Nintendo is pushing out an update that adds 15 more stages...

Imgur now lets you easily make gorgeous GIFs from online videos

Engadget - Thu, 29/01/2015 - 16:19
Are you an animated GIF virgin? Do you hang your head in shame when your friends share their custom made GIFs? If so, then the new video to GIF tool from the popular image hosting service Imgur might be perfect for you. All you need to do is plug in ...

BBC secures Premier League highlights until 2019

Engadget - Thu, 29/01/2015 - 16:14
The future of football broadcasts in the UK might be up in the air at the moment, but one important piece of TV rights has already been secured. The BBC announced today it has extended its deal to deliver Premier League highlights until the end of th...

Canada Upholds Net Neutrality Rules In Wireless TV Case

Slashdot - Thu, 29/01/2015 - 16:09
An anonymous reader writes Canada's telecom regulator has issued a major new decision with implications for net neutrality, ruling that Bell and Videotron violated the Telecommunications Act by granting their own wireless television services an undue preference by exempting them from data charges. Michael Geist examines the decision, noting that the Commission grounded the decision in net neutrality concerns, stating the Bell and Videotron services "may end up inhibiting the introduction and growth of other mobile TV services accessed over the Internet, which reduces innovation and consumer choice."

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

SYNEK's countertop draft system brings fresh beer home this summer

Engadget - Thu, 29/01/2015 - 16:00
SYNEK's method for bringing draft beer to kitchen counters everywhere first caught our eye last summer, and after nabbing $650,000 in Kickstarter contributions, the final product is on the way. For the uninitiated, SYNEK developed a self-contained ta...

Amazon wants you to dump Microsoft's corporate email platform

Engadget - Thu, 29/01/2015 - 15:33
Sorry to remind you of one of the more banal parts of working life, but it's time for a story about corporate email services. It's a market that's traditionally been dominated by Microsoft, although Google is managing make some in-roads with its ente...

Sky and Virgin Media have a lot to say about how much sport should be on TV

Engadget - Thu, 29/01/2015 - 15:28
There's never been more sport for Brits to watch on TV. That should be cause for celebration, but there's a problem: broadcasters are fighting for the rights to show different leagues and tournaments, which is locking sports away behind different sat...

Proposed Disk Array With 99.999% Availablity For 4 Years, Sans Maintenance

Slashdot - Thu, 29/01/2015 - 15:27
Thorfinn.au writes with this paper from four researchers (Jehan-François Pâris, Ahmed Amer, Darrell D. E. Long, and Thomas Schwarz, S. J.), with an interesting approach to long-term, fault-tolerant storage: As the prices of magnetic storage continue to decrease, the cost of replacing failed disks becomes increasingly dominated by the cost of the service call itself. We propose to eliminate these calls by building disk arrays that contain enough spare disks to operate without any human intervention during their whole lifetime. To evaluate the feasibility of this approach, we have simulated the behaviour of two-dimensional disk arrays with N parity disks and N(N – 1)/2 data disks under realistic failure and repair assumptions. Our conclusion is that having N(N + 1)/2 spare disks is more than enough to achieve a 99.999 percent probability of not losing data over four years. We observe that the same objectives cannot be reached with RAID level 6 organizations and would require RAID stripes that could tolerate triple disk failures.

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Valve paid $57 million to users who make and sell content on Steam

Engadget - Thu, 29/01/2015 - 15:01
Just how lucrative could it be to create and sell virtual items for free games like Valve's Team Fortress 2? Very, it turns out. Valve's recently announced that, since 2011, it's paid out over $57 million to folks participating in its Steam Workshop ...

The Quantum Experiment That Simulates a Time Machine

Slashdot - Thu, 29/01/2015 - 14:45
KentuckyFC writes One of the extraordinary features of quantum mechanics is that one quantum system can simulate the behaviour of another that might otherwise be difficult to create. That's exactly what a group of physicists in Australia have done in creating a quantum system that simulates a quantum time machine. Back in the early 90s, physicists showed that a quantum particle could enter a region of spacetime that loops back on itself, known as a closed timelike curve, without creating grandfather-type paradoxes in which time travellers kill their grandfathers thereby ensuring they could never have existed to travel back in time in the first place. Nobody has ever built a quantum closed time-like curve but now they don't have to. The Australian team have simulated its behaviour by allowing two entangled photons to interfere with each other in a way that recreates the behaviour of a single photon interacting with an older version of itself. The results are in perfect agreement with predictions from the 1990s--there are no grandfather-type paradoxes. Interestingly, the results are entirely compatible with relativity, suggesting that this type of experiment might be an interesting way of reconciling it with quantum mechanics.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Helmet that detects polluted air can also be a comedian's prop

Engadget - Thu, 29/01/2015 - 14:27
Ever seen a horse pull its lips back to show its front teeth? Looks hilarious, right? Apparently, that's called flehmen response, and animals do it to sniff out chemicals -- something designer Susanna Hertrich think humans could benefit from. Since w...

Dixons Carphone just made a deal that should avert a Phones4U-style disaster

Engadget - Thu, 29/01/2015 - 14:21
Although there were a multitude of reasons behind Phones4U's demise, one of the key factors was the overwhelming lack of support from the UK's major carriers. Three and O2 severed ties with the company way in advance of its closure, but it was a shak...

Georgia Institute of Technology Researchers Bridge the Airgap

Slashdot - Thu, 29/01/2015 - 14:01
An anonymous reader writes Hacked has a piece about Georgia Institute of Technology researchers keylogging from a distance using the electromagnetic radiation of CPUs. They can reportedly do this from up to 6 meters away. In this video, using two Ubuntu laptops, they demonstrate that keystrokes are easily interpreted with the software they have developed. In their white paper they talk about the need for more research in this area so that hardware and software manufacturers will be able to develop more secure devices. For now, Farraday cages don't seem as crazy as they used to, or do they?

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Tumblr's 'big update' promotes essay writing, fewer GIFs

Engadget - Thu, 29/01/2015 - 13:44
If we're honest, there isn't enough money in monochrome erotica and Benedict Cumberbatch GIFs to sustain a billion-dollar website. That's why Tumblr is doing its very best to become more of a publishing platform that can attract the sort of writing (...

Why ATM Bombs May Be Coming Soon To the United States

Slashdot - Thu, 29/01/2015 - 13:07
HughPickens.com writes Nick Summers has an interesting article at Bloomberg about the epidemic of 90 ATM bombings that has hit Britain since 2013. ATM machines are vulnerable because the strongbox inside an ATM has two essential holes: a small slot in front that spits out bills to customers and a big door in back through which employees load reams of cash in large cassettes. "Criminals have learned to see this simple enclosure as a physics problem," writes Summers. "Gas is pumped in, and when it's detonated, the weakest part—the large hinged door—is forced open. After an ATM blast, thieves force their way into the bank itself, where the now gaping rear of the cash machine is either exposed in the lobby or inside a trivially secured room. Set off with skill, the shock wave leaves the money neatly stacked, sometimes with a whiff of the distinctive acetylene odor of garlic." The rise in gas attacks has created a market opportunity for the companies that construct ATM components. Several manufacturers now make various anti-gas-attack modules: Some absorb shock waves, some detect gas and render it harmless, and some emit sound, fog, or dye to discourage thieves in the act. As far as anyone knows, there has never been a gas attack on an American ATM. The leading theory points to the country's primitive ATM cards. Along with Mongolia, Papua New Guinea, and not many other countries, the U.S. doesn't require its plastic to contain an encryption chip, so stealing cards remains an effective, nonviolent way to get at the cash in an ATM. Encryption chip requirements are coming to the U.S. later this year, though. And given the gas raid's many advantages, it may be only a matter of time until the back of an American ATM comes rocketing off.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

IBM Research and Mars tackle food safety with advanced genetics

Engadget - Thu, 29/01/2015 - 13:00
In an effort to help prevent foodborne illnesses and contamination, IBM Research is teaming up with Mars for a safety study that'll examine how supply chains affect what we eat. Specifically, the duo will take a closer look at microorganisms in a saf...

Shyp for Android is now shypping

Engadget - Thu, 29/01/2015 - 13:00
Shyp, an app that helps making shipping goods easier, is now available for Android. The app has been on iOS for the past eight months or so (though it was in beta for awhile before that), and is currently live in San Francisco, New York and Miami, wi...

Forget 999, Brits may soon get the option to report crime online

Engadget - Thu, 29/01/2015 - 12:35
In the UK, the simplest way to report a crime has always been to pick up the phone and speak to someone. Whether that's dialling 999, 101 or the Crimestoppers charity, the general process has stayed the same. However, that could soon change in the no...