Linux fréttir

Physicists Predict a Way To Squeeze Light From the Vacuum of Empty Space

Slashdot - Sat, 2019-03-30 10:00
sciencehabit shares an excerpt from Science Magazine: Talk about getting something for nothing. Physicists predict that just by shooting charged particles through an electromagnetic field, it should be possible to generate light from the empty vacuum. In principle, the effect could provide a new way to test the fundamental theory of electricity and magnetism, known as quantum electrodynamics, the most precise theory in all of science. In practice, spotting the effect would require lasers and particle accelerators far more powerful than any that exist now. Physicists have long known that energetic charged particles can radiate light when they zip through a transparent medium such as water or a gas. In the medium, light travels slower than it does in empty space, allowing a particle such as an electron or proton to potentially fly faster than light. When that happens, the particle generates an electromagnetic shockwave, just as a supersonic jet creates a shockwave in air. But whereas the jet's shockwave creates a sonic boom, the electromagnetic shockwave creates light called Cherenkov radiation. That effect causes the water in the cores of nuclear reactors to glow blue, and it's been used to make particle detectors. However, it should be possible to ditch the material and produce Cherenkov light straight from the vacuum, predict Dino Jaroszynski, a physicist at the University of Strathclyde in Glasgow, U.K., and colleagues. The trick is to shoot the particles through an extremely intense electromagnetic field instead. According to quantum theory, the vacuum roils with particle-antiparticle pairs flitting in and out of existence too quickly to observe directly. The application of a strong electromagnetic field can polarize those pairs, however, pushing positive and negative particles in opposite directions. Passing photons then interact with the not-quite-there pairs so that the polarized vacuum acts a bit like a transparent medium in which light travels slightly slower than in an ordinary vacuum, Jaroszynski and colleagues calculate. Putting two and two together, an energetic charged particle passing through a sufficiently strong electromagnetic field should produce Cherenkov radiation, the team reports in a paper in press at Physical Review Letters. Others had suggested vacuum Cherenkov radiation should exist in certain situations, but the new work takes a more fundamental and all-encompassing approach, says Adam Noble, a physicist at Strathclyde.

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In the West, we're worried about shooting down drones. In Russia, drones shoot you

TheRegister - Sat, 2019-03-30 08:28
Watch a flying shotgun blast capitalist scum balloon, socialist devil model airplane

Video Russian engineers have turned a humble drone into a formidable terrifying cataclysmic weapons platform, by, well, strapping a gun to it.…

Categories: Linux fréttir

Valve Reveals High-End VR Headset Called the Valve Index

Slashdot - Sat, 2019-03-30 07:00
After partnering with HTC to launch the Vive in 2016, Valve has moved ahead with plans to launch its own headset, called the Valve Index, in May 2019. Ars Technica reports: The news came on Friday in the form of a single teaser image, shown above, of a headset with the phrase "Valve Index" written on its front. The front of the headset is flanked by at least two sensors. This shadow-covered hardware matches the leaked headset reported by UploadVR in November of last year. That report hinted to Valve's headset supporting a wider, 135-degree field-of-view (FOV), as opposed to the roughly 110-degree FOV of the original HTC Vive and Oculus Rift. Valve's dedicated website for the new device includes no other information than the above image and the date "May 2019." It does not include any mention of the new SteamVR Knuckles controllers, which Valve has advertised pretty heavily via developer outreach since their 2016 reveal and a later series of improved prototypes in 2018. This page also doesn't mention a series of three Valve-produced VR games that have been repeatedly advertised by Valve co-founder Gabe Newell since 2017. There's very little information about the headset, but after cranking up the brightness and contrast of the teaser image, Ars Technica's Sam Machkovech was able to find "a series of six dots on one of the headset's surfaces, [...] which may hint to this headset's use of an outside tracking sensor, a la the HTC Vive's infrared trackers." He adds: "Even so, those two giant lenses imply that 'inside-out' tracking, managed entirely by the headset without any extra webcams or sensors, may also be in the cards. Additionally, we can see a giant physical slider, which is likely linked to interpupillary distance (IPD), a precise measurement needed to ensure maximum VR comfort."

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Scientists Find Genetic Mutation That Makes Women Feel No Pain

Slashdot - Sat, 2019-03-30 03:30
An anonymous reader quotes a report from The Guardian: Doctors have identified a new mutation in a woman who is barely able to feel pain or stress after a surgeon who was baffled by her recovery from an operation referred her for genetic testing. Jo Cameron, 71, has a mutation in a previously unknown gene which scientists believe must play a major role in pain signaling, mood and memory. The discovery has boosted hopes of new treatments for chronic pain which affects millions of people globally. In a case report published on Thursday in the British Journal of Anaesthesia, the UCL team describe how they delved into Cameron's DNA to see what makes her so unusual. They found two notable mutations. Together, they suppress pain and anxiety, while boosting happiness and, apparently, forgetfulness and wound healing. The first mutation the scientists spotted is common in the general population. It dampens down the activity of a gene called FAAH. The gene makes an enzyme that breaks down anandamide, a chemical in the body that is central to pain sensation, mood and memory. Anandamide works in a similar way to the active ingredients of cannabis. The less it is broken down, the more its analgesic and other effects are felt. The second mutation was a missing chunk of DNA that mystified scientists at first. Further analysis showed that the "deletion" chopped the front off a nearby, previously unknown gene the scientists named FAAH-OUT. The researchers think this new gene works like a volume control on the FAAH gene. Disable it with a mutation like Cameron has and FAAH falls silent. The upshot is that anandamide, a natural cannabinoid, builds up in the system. Cameron has twice as much anandamide as those in the general population.

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Tesla Cars Keep More Data Than You Think

Slashdot - Sat, 2019-03-30 02:10
Tesla vehicles sent to the junk yard after a crash carry much more data than you'd think. According to CNBC, citing two security researchers, "Computers on Tesla vehicles keep everything that drivers have voluntarily stored on their cars, plus tons of other information generated by the vehicles including video, location and navigational data showing exactly what happened leading up to a crash." From the report: One researcher, who calls himself GreenTheOnly, describes himself as a "white hat hacker" and a Tesla enthusiast who drives a Model X. He has extracted this kind of data from the computers in a salvaged Tesla Model S, Model X and two Model 3 vehicles, while also making tens of thousands of dollars cashing in on Tesla bug bounties in recent years. Many other cars download and store data from users, particularly information from paired cellphones, such as contact information. But the researchers' findings highlight how Tesla is full of contradictions on privacy and cybersecurity. On one hand, Tesla holds car-generated data closely, and has fought customers in court to refrain from giving up vehicle data. Owners must purchase $995 cables and download a software kit from Tesla to get limited information out of their cars via "event data recorders" there, should they need this for legal, insurance or other reasons. At the same time, crashed Teslas that are sent to salvage can yield unencrypted and personally revealing data to anyone who takes possession of the car's computer and knows how to extract it. The contrast raises questions about whether Tesla has clearly defined goals for data security, and who its existing rules are meant to protect. A Tesla spokesperson said in a statement to CNBC: "Tesla already offers options that customers can use to protect personal data stored on their car, including a factory reset option for deleting personal data and restoring customized settings to factory defaults, and a Valet Mode for hiding personal data (among other functions) when giving their keys to a valet. That said, we are always committed to finding and improving upon the right balance between technical vehicle needs and the privacy of our customers." The report serves as a reminder for Tesla owners to factory reset their cars before handing them off to a junk yard or other reseller because that other party may not reset your car for you. "Tesla sometimes uses an automotive auction company called Manheim to inspect, recondition and sell used cars," reports CNBC. "A former Manheim employee, who asked to remain anonymous, confirmed that employees do not wipe the cars' computers with a factory reset." The researchers were able to obtain phonebooks "worth of contact information from drivers or passengers who had paired their devices, and calendar entries with descriptions of planned appointments, and e-mail addresses of those invited." The data also showed the drivers' last 73 navigation locations, as well as crash-related information. The Model 3 that one of the researchers bought for research purposes contained a video showing the car speeding out of the right lane into the trees off the left side of a dark two-lane route. "GPS and other vehicle data reveals that the accident happened in Orleans, Massachusetts, on Namequoit Road, at 11:15 pm on Aug 11, and was severe enough that airbags deployed," the report adds.

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Critical Magento SQL Injection Flaw Could Soon Be Targeted By Hackers

Slashdot - Sat, 2019-03-30 01:30
itwbennett writes: The popular e-commerce platform Magento has released 37 security issues affecting both the commercial and open-source versions, four of which are critical. "Of those, one SQL injection flaw is of particular concern for researchers because it can be exploited without authentication," writes Lucian Constantine for CSO. Researchers from Web security firm Sucuri "have already reverse-engineered the patch [for that flaw] and created a working proof-of-concept exploit for internal testing," says Constantin. "The SQL vulnerability is very easy to exploit, and we encourage every Magento site owner to update to these recently patched versions to protect their ecommerce websites," the researchers warn in a blog post. "Unauthenticated attacks, like the one seen in this particular SQL Injection vulnerability, are very serious because they can be automated -- making it easy for hackers to mount successful, widespread attacks against vulnerable websites," the Sucuri researchers warned. "The number of active installs, the ease of exploitation, and the effects of a successful attack are what makes this vulnerability particularly dangerous." Since the researchers were able to create a working proof-of-concept exploit, it's only a matter of time until hackers discover a way to use the exploit to plant payment card skimmers on sites that have yet to install the new patch.

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California Man Sentenced To 20 Years In Deadly Kansas 'Swatting'

Slashdot - Sat, 2019-03-30 00:50
slipped_bit writes: Tyler R. Barriss, 26, who pleaded guilty to multiple counts of "swatting" attempts, including the case that caused an innocent man to be killed by police in 2017, has been sentenced to 20 years in prison. The case in 2017 was all because of a dispute between two online players over a $1.50 bet in the "Call of Duty: WWII" video game. A total of 51 federal charges related to fake calls and threats were made against Barriss. "Barriss' prosecution in Wichita consolidated other federal cases that had initially been filed against him in California and the District of Columbia involving similar calls and threats he made," reports FOX 4 Kansas City. "Prosecutors had asked for a 25-year sentence, while the defense had sought a 20-year term." "The intended target in Wichita, Shane Gaskill, 20, and the man who allegedly recruited Barriss, Casey Viner, 19, of North College Hill, Ohio, are charged as co-conspirators," the report adds. "Authorities say Viner provided Barriss with an address for Gaskill that Gaskill had previously given to Viner. Authorities also say that when Gaskill noticed Barriss was following him on Twitter, he gave Barriss that old address and taunted him to 'try something.'"

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Apple redesigns wireless AirPower charger to be world's smallest, thinnest, lightest, cheapest, invisible... OK, it doesn't exist anymore

TheRegister - Sat, 2019-03-30 00:14
Gizmo axed because it wasn't good enough, ran too hot

Apple's latest foray into wireless charging has ended with the cancellation of the AirPower, the white disc that was supposed to be able to power multiple iThings simultaneously.…

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Huawei Tops $100 Billion Revenue For First Time Despite Political Headwinds

Slashdot - Sat, 2019-03-30 00:10
An anonymous reader quotes a report from CNBC: Huawei's revenue grew 19.5 percent in 2018, surpassing $100 billion for the first time, despite continuing political headwinds from around the world. Sales came in at 721.2 billion yuan ($107.13 billion) last year. Net profit reached 59.3 billion yuan, higher by 25.1 percent compared to a year ago. The revenue growth was faster than that seen in 2017, but the net profit rise was slightly slower. Huawei's numbers are a bright spot for the firm, which has faced intense political pressure. The U.S. government has raised concerns that Huawei's network gear could be used by the Chinese government for espionage. Huawei has repeatedly denied those allegations. Sales in its carrier business, which is its core networking equipment arm, reached 294 billion yuan, slightly below the 297.8 billion yuan recorded in 2017. The real driver of growth was the consumer business, with revenue for that division rising 45.1 percent year-on-year to reach 348.9 billion yuan. For the first time, consumer business is now the biggest share of Huawei's revenue.

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Ignore the noise about a scary hidden backdoor in Intel processors: It's a fascinating debug port

TheRegister - Fri, 2019-03-29 23:45
VISA: It's everywhere (on the system bus) you want to be

Researchers at the Black Hat Asia conference this week disclosed a previously unknown way to tap into the inner workings of Intel's chip hardware.…

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iFixit Teardown Reveals Apple's New AirPods Are 'Disappointingly Disposable'

Slashdot - Fri, 2019-03-29 23:30
After tearing apart Apple's new second-generation AirPods, the repair guide site found that there is no practical way to service or repair them even at a professional shop. They labeled them as "disappointingly disposable." Ars Technica reports: iFixit had to go to almost comical lengths to open the AirPods up, and despite their expertise and tools, the iFixit team was unable to do so without permanently damaging the product. [...] That's disappointing, given that the batteries in the AirPods won't last longer than a few years with heavy use, and they're hard to recycle. Apple does offer to recycle headphones through partners as part of its Apple GiveBack program, but the GiveBack Web portal does not offer a product-specific category for AirPods to consumers like it does with most other Apple products. Consumers may simply select a general "headphones & speakers" category on the site. The teardown also revealed some differences from the first-generation AirPods. The battery is the same size, but iFixit identified the new, Bluetooth 5-ready H1 chip in the earbuds themselves. The site also found some small differences likely related to Apple's efforts to increase the case's water resistance. For all the details, visit iFixit's teardown page for the product. All told, iFixit gave the AirPods a 0 out of 10 for repairability -- that's low even for Apple products. By contrast, the site also opened up Samsung's Galaxy Buds and gave them a 6 out of 10.

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'Fortnite' Creator Sees Epic Games Becoming as Big as Facebook, Google

Slashdot - Fri, 2019-03-29 22:50
The company behind "Fortnite" wants to become the next Facebook or Google, said Epic Games CEO Tim Sweeney. The idea isn't much of a stretch. From a report: While "Fortnite" began life as a relatively mundane game it continues to evolve, first by adding a battle royale mode, and then by leaning on the game's massive install base to turn the title into something more akin to a social platform that can host concerts, tell stories, and inspire creativity. Sweeney points to the game's popularity as a "mass-market streaming phenomenon," the moment when "Fortnite" player teamed up with musician Drake in-game, and when the game played host to about 10 million people in a live, in-game Marshmello concert. "We feel the game industry is changing in some major ways," he said. "'Fortnite' is a harbinger of things to come. It's a massive number of people all playing together, interacting together, not just playing but socializing." "In many ways 'Fortnite' is like a social network. People are just in the game with strangers, they're playing with friends and using 'Fortnite' as a foundation to communicate." Flush with a relatively recent $1.25 billion investment from a half-dozen investment firms and the steady flow of cash from both "Fortnite" and Epic Game's Unreal game engine, Sweeney has big plans for the company.

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Intel Lays Off Hundreds of Tech Admins

Slashdot - Fri, 2019-03-29 22:10
Intel has reportedly laid off a number of information technology workers at sites across the company this week. Sources say the layoffs are numbered in the hundreds, but Intel has declined to specify how many people lost their jobs or describe the rationale for the cutbacks. OregonLive reports: The cuts took place at sites across the company, including Oregon, Intel's largest site with 20,000 workers. Cuts also took place at other Intel facilities in the United States and at a large administrative facility in Costa Rica, according to people familiar with the layoffs. Though Intel forecasts flat sales in 2019, people inside the company said this week's layoffs don't appear to be strictly a cost-cutting move. Rather, they said the cuts appeared to reflect a broad change in the way Intel is approaching its internal technical systems. Information technology (IT) professionals don't usually develop new technology but they play an essential role in managing a company's internal systems. Their work is particularly important at tech companies such as Intel, which depend on IT workers to keep systems secure and running smoothly. This week's layoffs appear to be Intel's biggest cutbacks since 2016, when the company eliminated 15,000 jobs across the company through layoffs, buyouts and early retirement offers. "Changes in our workforce are driven by the needs and priorities of our business, which we continually evaluate. We are committed to treating all impacted employees with professionalism and respect," Intel said in a brief statement acknowledging the cuts to The Oregonian/OregonLive. Intel isn't the only tech company laying off workers right now. A new report from The Mercury News reveals many Bay Area tech firms will be laying off about 1,200 jobs between now and Memorial Day. The layoffs are expected from SAP, Oracle America, PayPal, Instacart, Thin Film Electronics, and others.

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Toyota Security Breach Exposes Personal Info of 3.1 Million Clients

Slashdot - Fri, 2019-03-29 21:30
An anonymous reader quotes a report from BleepingComputer: The personal information of roughly 3.1 million Toyota customers may have been leaked following a security breach of multiple Toyota and Lexus sales subsidiaries, as detailed in a breach notification issued by the car maker today. As detailed in a press release published on Toyota'a global newsroom, unauthorized access was detected on the computing systems of Tokyo Sales Holdings, Tokyo Tokyo Motor, Tokyo Toyopet, Toyota Tokyo Corolla, Nets Toyota Tokyo, Lexus Koishikawa Sales, Jamil Shoji (Lexus Nerima), and Toyota West Tokyo Corolla. "It turned out that up to 3.1 million items of customer information may have been leaked outside the company. The information that may have been leaked this time does not include information on credit cards," says the data breach notification. Toyota has not yet confirmed if the attackers were able to exfiltrate any of the customer personal information exposed after the IT systems of its subsidiaries were breached. Toyota said in a statement: "We apologize to everyone who has been using Toyota and Lexus vehicles for the great concern. We take this situation seriously, and will thoroughly implement information security measures at dealers and the entire Toyota Group."

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Citrix mysteriously quiet amid whisperings of senior layoffs: Executives, teams logged out, it is claimed

TheRegister - Fri, 2019-03-29 21:13
Ax falls on staff as customers seemingly slow to embrace subscription model

Virtualization and networking biz Citrix has been quietly cutting jobs in California, North Carolina, and Florida, in the US, The Register has been told, but the company refuses to comment on the claims.…

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Critical Magento SQL Injection Flaw Could Soon Be Targeted By Hackers

Slashdot - Fri, 2019-03-29 20:50
itwbennett writes: The popular e-commerce platform Magento has released 37 security issues affecting both the commercial and open-source versions, four of which are critical. 'Of those, one SQL injection flaw is of particular concern for researchers because it can be exploited without authentication,' writes Lucian Constantine for CSO. Researchers from Web security firm Sucuri 'have already reverse-engineered the patch [for that flaw] and created a working proof-of-concept exploit for internal testing' says Constantin. 'The SQL vulnerability is very easy to exploit, and we encourage every Magento site owner to update to these recently patched versions to protect their ecommerce websites,' the researchers warn in a blog post.

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Paywalls Block Scientific Progress. Research Should Be Open To Everyone

Slashdot - Fri, 2019-03-29 20:10
An anonymous reader shares a report: Academic and scientific research needs to be accessible to all. The world's most pressing problems like clean water or food security deserve to have as many people as possible solving their complexities. Yet our current academic research system has no interest in harnessing our collective intelligence. Scientific progress is currently thwarted by one thing: paywalls. Paywalls, which restrict access to content without a paid subscription, represent a common practice used by academic publishers to block access to scientific research for those who have not paid. This keeps $25.5bn flowing from higher education and science into for-profit publisher bank accounts. My recent documentary, Paywall: The Business of Scholarship, uncovered that the largest academic publisher, Elsevier, regularly has a profit margin between 35-40%, which is greater than Google's. With financial capacity comes power, lobbyists, and the ability to manipulate markets for strategic advantages â" things that underfunded universities and libraries in poorer countries do not have. Furthermore, university librarians are regularly required to sign non-disclosure agreements on their contract-pricing specifics with the largest for-profit publishers. Each contract is tailored specifically to that university based upon a variety of factors: history, endowment, current enrolment. This thwarts any collective discussion around price structures, and gives publishers all the power.

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Apple Cancels Long-delayed AirPower Charging Mat

Slashdot - Fri, 2019-03-29 19:23
One and a half years after announcing a wireless charging mat for iPhones, Apple Watches, and AirPods called AirPower, Apple has unexpectedly cancelled the accessory. From a report: It notably missed its expected shipping dates multiple times, including a potential release alongside the second-generation version of AirPods and charging case this week. "After much effort, we've concluded AirPower will not achieve our high standards and we have cancelled the project," said Apple SVP of Hardware Engineering Dan Riccio in a statement today. "We apologize to those customers who were looking forward to this launch. We continue to believe that the future is wireless and are committed to push the wireless experience forward." Mark Gurman of Bloomberg, adds, "This is fairly unprecedented and unbelievable. The AirPods even have a picture of the AirPower on the box."

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Google: Play Protect Cut Harmful Android App Installs by 20% in 2018

Slashdot - Fri, 2019-03-29 18:50
Speaking of the state of Android apps' security, Google today published its annual Android Security & Privacy Year in Review, a comprehensive report that details the company's ongoing efforts to keep over two billion devices running Android mobile operating system secure. From a report: Google says that Google Play Protect, Android's AI-driven built-in defense mechanism, substantially cut down on the number of Potentially Harmful Applications (PHAs) in Google Play. Last year, only 0.08 percent of devices that used Google Play exclusively for app downloads were affected by PHAs, and even devices that installed apps from outside of Play -- 0.68 percent of which were affected by one or more PHAs, down from 0.80 percent in 2017 -- saw a 15 percent reduction in malware. In fact, Play Protect prevented 1.6 billion PHA installation attempts from outside of Google Play in 2018, Google says [PDF]. Installation attempts outside of Google Play fell by 20 percent from the previous year, and 73 percent of PHA installations were successfully stopped compared to 71 percent in 2017 and 59 percent in 2016. In all, 0.45 percent of Android devices running Play Protect installed PHAs in 2018 compared with 0.56 percent of devices in 2017, equating to a 20 percent year-over-year improvement.

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Brit founder of Windows leaks website Buildfeed and infosec bod spared jail for hacking Microsoft

TheRegister - Fri, 2019-03-29 18:20
26 and 24-year-olds slapped with suspended sentences, community work orders

The Brit who ran the BuildFeed website of Windows leaks has been handed a suspended prison sentence – along with a former Malwarebytes bod who hacked into Microsoft's internal OS development networks.…

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