Linux fréttir

Chemists Make First-Ever Ring of Pure Carbon

Slashdot - Fri, 2019-08-16 10:00
A team of researchers has synthesized the first ring-shaped molecule of pure carbon -- a circle of 18 atoms. Nature reports: The chemists started with a triangular molecule of carbon and oxygen, which they manipulated with electric currents to create the carbon-18 ring. Initial studies of the properties of the molecule, called a cyclocarbon, suggest that it acts as a semiconductor, which could make similar straight carbon chains useful as molecular-scale electronic components. Chemist Przemyslaw Gawel of the University of Oxford, UK, and his collaborators have now created and imaged the long-sought ring molecule carbon-18. Using standard 'wet' chemistry, his collaborator Lorel Scriven, an Oxford chemist, first synthesized molecules that included four-carbon squares coming off the ring with oxygen atoms attached to squares. The team then sent their samples to IBM laboratories in Zurich, Switzerland, where collaborators put the oxygen -- carbon molecules on a layer of sodium chloride, inside a high-vacuum chamber. They manipulated the rings one at a time with electric currents (using an atomic-force microscope that can also act as a scanning-transmission microscope), to remove the extraneous, oxygen-containing parts. After much trial-and-error, micrograph scans revealed the 18-carbon structure. "I never thought I would see this," says Scriven. Alternating bond types are interesting because they are supposed to give carbon chains and rings the properties of semiconductors. The results suggest that long, straight carbon chains might be semiconductors, too, Gawel says, which could make them useful as components of future molecular-sized transistors. The paper has been published in the journal Science.

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Criminal mastermind signed name as 'Thief' on receipts after buying stuff with stolen card

TheRegister - Fri, 2019-08-16 09:00
Hello, can I speak to Rob please? Second name Ber

Criminologists have long known petty crooks to be dumber than law-abiding citizens. Throw in some Dunning-Kruger and you have the perfect storm of a moron who thinks they're a criminal mastermind.…

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Police costs for Gatwick drone fiasco double to nearly £900k – and still no one's been charged

TheRegister - Fri, 2019-08-16 08:03
Omnishambles just keeps on rolling and you're paying for it

Sussex Police's probe of the infamous London Gatwick airport drone fiasco of Christmas 2018 has doubled in cost to nearly £900,000 – and the bungling force still hasn't arrested the person or persons responsible.…

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Security? We've heard of it! But why be a party pooper when there's printing to be done

TheRegister - Fri, 2019-08-16 07:04
The boss that went rogue and cocked a snook at the corporate policy he wrote

On Call With the gateway to the weekend upon us, it is time to crack open the On Call files once again to enjoy a tale from one of those brave engineers at the front line of the tech world.…

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Counterintuitive Physics Property Found To Be Widespread In Living Organisms

Slashdot - Fri, 2019-08-16 07:00
Lisa Zyga, writing for Phys.Org: Ever since the late 19th century, physicists have known about a counterintuitive property of some electric circuits called negative resistance. Typically, increasing the voltage in a circuit causes the electric current to increase as well. But under some conditions, increasing the voltage can cause the current to decrease instead. This basically means that pushing harder on the electric charges actually slows them down. Due to the relationship between current, voltage, and resistance, in these situations the resistance produces power rather than consuming it, resulting in a "negative resistance." Today, negative resistance devices have a wide variety of applications, such as in fluorescent lights and Gunn diodes, which are used in radar guns and automatic door openers, among other devices. Most known examples of negative resistance occur in human-engineered devices rather than in nature. However, in a new study published in the New Journal of Physics, Gianmaria Falasco and coauthors from the University of Luxembourg have shown that an analogous property called negative differential response is actually a widespread phenomenon that is found in many biochemical reactions that occur in living organisms. They identify the property in several vital biochemical processes, such as enzyme activity, DNA replication, and ATP production. It seems that nature has used this property to optimize these processes and make living things operate more efficiently at the molecular scale. The researchers provided two examples of biological processes that have negative differential responses. The first example is substrate inhibition, which is a process used by enzymes to regulate their ability to catalyze chemical reactions: "When a single substrate molecule binds to an enzyme, the resulting enzyme-substrate complex decays into a product, generating a chemical current," writes Zyga. "On the other hand, when the substrate concentration is high, two substrate molecules may bind to an enzyme, and this double binding prevents the enzyme from producing more product. As an increase in substrate molecule concentration causes a decrease in the chemical current, this is a negative differential response." The second example has to do with autocatalytic reactions -- "self-catalyzing" reactions, or reactions that produce products that catalyze the reaction itself: "Autocatalytic reactions occur throughout the body, such as in DNA replication and ATP production during glycolysis," writes Zyga. "The researchers showed that negative differential responses can arise when two autocatalytic reactions occur simultaneously in the presence of two different chemical concentrations (reservoirs) in an out-of-equilibrium system."

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Just dying to get into neural networks? Need a start in deep learning? We can workshop it out

TheRegister - Fri, 2019-08-16 06:00
Join us at MCubed and dive deep into practical, hands-on knowledge

Event It’s great to see hear about the possibilities of machine learning, and AI, but to really understand their potential, nothing beats getting your hands dirty under the watchful eye of a bona fide expert.…

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Apple Files Lawsuit Against Corellium For iOS Emulation

Slashdot - Fri, 2019-08-16 05:15
Apple has filed a lawsuit against Corellium, accusing the software company of illegally selling virtual copies of iOS under the guise of helping discover security flaws. "Apple said the software company Corellium has copied the operating system, graphical user interface and other aspects of the devices without permission, and wants a federal judge to stop the violations," reports Bloomberg. From the report: Apple said it supports "good-faith security research," offering a $1 million "bug bounty" for anyone who discovers flaws in its system and gives custom versions of the iPhone to "legitimate" researchers. Corellium, the iPhone maker said, goes further than that. "Although Corellium paints itself as providing a research tool for those trying to discover security vulnerabilities and other flaws in Apple's software, Corellium's true goal is profiting off its blatant infringement," Apple said in the complaint. "Far from assisting in fixing vulnerabilities, Corellium encourages its users to sell any discovered information on the open market to the highest bidder." Corellium creates copies of the Apple iOS, and says that it's all to help white-hat hackers discover security flaws. Instead, according to Apple, any information is sold to people who can then exploit those flaws. Corellium, in a posting dated July 4 on its website, said it "respects the intellectual property rights of others and expects its users to do the same." Corellium's products allow the creation of a virtual Apple device, according to the suit. It copies new versions of Apple works as soon as they are announced, and doesn't require users to disclose flaws to Apple, the Cupertino, California-based company said in the complaint. Apple also wants a court order forcing Corellium to notify its customers that they are in violation of Apple's rights, destruction of any products using Apple copyrights, and cash compensation.

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'Deeply concerned' UK privacy watchdog thrusts probe into King's Cross face-recognizing snoop cam brouhaha

TheRegister - Fri, 2019-08-16 04:54
ICO wants to know if AI surveillance systems in central London are legal

The UK's privacy watchdog last night launched a probe into the use of facial-recognition technology in the busy King's Cross corner of central London.…

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Scientists Discover New Pain-Sensing Organ

Slashdot - Fri, 2019-08-16 03:30
An anonymous reader quotes a report from The Guardian: A new organ involved in the sensation of pain has been discovered by scientists, raising hopes that it could lead to the development of new painkilling drugs. Researchers say they have discovered that the special cells that surround the pain-sensing nerve cells that extend into the outer layer of skin appear to be involved in sensing pain. The scientists say the finding offers new insight into pain and could help answer longstanding conundrums. Writing in the journal Science, the researchers reveal how they examined the nature of cells in the skin that, they say, have largely been overlooked. These are a type of Schwann cell, which wrap around and engulf nerve cells and help to keep them alive. The study has revealed these Schwann cells have an octopus-like shape. After examining tissues, the team found the body of the cells sits below the outer layer of the skin, but that the cells have long extensions that wrap around the ends of pain-sensing nerve cells that extend up into the epidermis, the outer layer of the skin. The scientists were surprised at the findings because it has long been believed that the endings of nerve cells in the epidermis were bare or unwrapped. With the special Schwann cells and the nerves they engulf forming a mesh-like network, the researchers say they have essentially discovered a new pain-sensing organ. "It is a two-cell receptor organ: the nerve and Schwann cell together," Prof Patrik Ernfors, a co-author of the research from the Karolinska Institute in Sweden, said.

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President Trump Is Reportedly Considering Buying Greenland

Slashdot - Fri, 2019-08-16 02:15
According to The Wall Street Journal, President Trump has -- with varying degrees of seriousness -- floated the idea of the U.S. buying the autonomous Danish territory of Greenland. From the report: In meetings, at dinners and in passing conversations, Mr. Trump has asked advisers whether the U.S. can acquire Greenland, listened with interest when they discuss its abundant resources and geopolitical importance and, according to two of the people, has asked his White House counsel to look into the idea. Some of his advisers have supported the concept, saying it was a good economic play, two of the people said, while others dismissed it as a fleeting fascination that will never come to fruition. It is also unclear how the U.S. would go about acquiring Greenland even if the effort were serious. U.S. officials view Greenland as important to American national-security interests. A decades-old defense treaty between Denmark and the U.S. gives the U.S. military virtually unlimited rights in Greenland at America's northernmost base, Thule Air Base. Located 750 miles north of the Arctic Circle, it includes a radar station that is part of a U.S. ballistic missile early-warning system. The base is also used by the U.S. Air Force Space Command and the North American Aerospace Defense Command. People outside the White House have described purchasing Greenland as an Alaska-type acquisition for Mr. Trump's legacy, advisers said. The few current and former White House officials who had heard of the notion described it with a mix of anticipation and apprehension, since it remains unknown how far the president might push the idea. It generated a cascade of questions among his advisers, such as whether the U.S. could use Greenland to establish a stronger military presence in the Arctic, and what kind of research opportunities it might present. The report says that Trump told associates he had been advised to look into buying Greenland because Denmark faced financial trouble from supporting the territory. The person who told the Journal about Trump's comments said they seemed like more of a joke about his power than a serious inquiry. According to U.S. and Danish government statistics, Greenland relies on $591 million of subsidies from Denmark annually, which make up about 60% of its annual budget.

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Disney Fights Streaming Account Sharing With Help From Cable Industry

Slashdot - Fri, 2019-08-16 01:30
Disney and Charter Communications are teaming up to fight account sharing in an attempt to prevent multiple people from using a single account to access streaming video services. Ars Technica reports: The battle against account sharing was announced as Disney and the nation's second-biggest cable company struck a new distribution agreement involving Disney's Hulu, ESPN+, and the forthcoming Disney+. Customers could still buy those online services directly from Disney, but the new deal would also let them make those purchases through Charter's Spectrum TV service. If you buy a Disney service through Charter, be aware that the companies will work together to prevent you from sharing a login with friends. Disney and Charter said in their announcement yesterday that they have "agreed to work together on piracy mitigation. The two companies will work together to implement business rules and techniques to address such issues as unauthorized access and password sharing." The crackdown could target people who use Charter TV account logins to sign into Disney services online. Charter CEO Tom Rutledge has complained about account sharing several times over the past few years while criticizing TV networks for not fully locking down their content. "There's lots of extra streams, there's lots of extra passwords, there's lots of people who could get free service," Rutledge said at an industry conference in 2017. He argues that password sharing has helped people avoid buying cable TV. ESPN has also complained about account sharing, calling it piracy. Another possibility is that Charter could monitor usage of its broadband network to help Disney fight account sharing. For example, Disney could track the IP addresses of users signing in to its services, and Charter could match those IP addresses to those of its broadband customers.

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Apple's WebKit techs declare privacy circumvention to be a security issue

TheRegister - Fri, 2019-08-16 00:59
Bypass our tracking controls at your unspecified peril, warns maker of minor browser

Apple's WebKit team on Wednesday formalized the company's oft-repeated pro-privacy stance (provided you're not in China) by declaring that privacy-piercing browser code will be treated as a security abuse.…

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AI Startup Claims To Automate App Making But Actually Just Uses Humans

Slashdot - Fri, 2019-08-16 00:50
Engineer.ai, an Indian startup claiming to have built an artificial intelligence-assisted app development platform, is not in fact using AI to literally build apps, according to a report from The Wall Street Journal. Instead, the company, which has attracted nearly $30 million in funding from a SoftBank-owned firm and others, is reportedly relying mostly on human engineers, while using hype around AI to attract customers and investment that will last it until it can actually get its automation platform off the ground. The Verge reports: The company claims its AI tools are "human-assisted," and that it provides a service that will help a customer make more than 80 percent of a mobile app from scratch in about an hour, according to claims Engineer.ai founder Sachin Dev Duggal, who also says his other title is "Chief Wizard," made onstage at a conference last year. However, the WSJ reports that Engineer.ai does not use AI to assemble the code, and instead uses human engineers in India and elsewhere to put together the app. When pressed on how the company actually employs machine learning and other AI training techniques, the company told the WSJ it uses natural language processing to estimate pricing and timelines of requested features, and that it relies on a "decision tree" to assign tasks to engineers. Neither of those really qualify as the type of modern AI that powers cutting-edge machine translation or image recognition, and it does not appear that any kind of AI agent or software of any kind is actually compiling code.

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America's Elderly Seem More Screen-Obsessed Than the Young

Slashdot - Fri, 2019-08-16 00:10
An anonymous reader quotes a report from The Economist: Many parents and grandparents will grumble about today's screen-obsessed youth. Indeed, researchers find that millennials look at their phones more than 150 times a day; half of them check their devices in the middle of the night; a third glance at them immediately after waking up. And yet, when all screens are accounted for, it is in fact older folk who seem most addicted. According to Nielsen, a market-research firm, Americans aged 65 and over spend nearly ten hours a day consuming media on their televisions, computers and smartphones. That is 12% more than Americans aged 35 to 49, and a third more than those aged 18 to 34 (the youngest cohort for whom Nielsen has data). American seniors "spend an average of seven hours and 30 minutes in front of the box, about as much as they did in 2015," the report says. "The spend another two hours staring at their smartphones, a more than seven-fold increase from four years ago." Millennials have increased the time they spend on their mobile devices, but it's been largely offset by their dwindling interest in TV. As for teenagers, a report from 2015 by Common Sense Media "found that American teens aged 13-18 spent about six hours and 40 minutes per day on screens: slightly more than Nielsen recorded for 18- to 34-year-olds that year, but less than older generations."

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Kaspersky and Trend Micro get patch bonanza after ID flaw and password manager holes spotted

TheRegister - Thu, 2019-08-15 23:44
Quis custodiet ipsos custodes?

Kaspersky and Trend Micro have released updates to address vulnerabilities in their respective security tools.…

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Salesforce takes the multi-signer DNSSEC ball and runs with it

TheRegister - Thu, 2019-08-15 23:31
Extending DNS security protocol to multiple platforms takes root

A plan to expand the current DNSSEC security protocol to cover multiple DNS platforms has received the backing of Salesforce, with a first proof-of-concept implementation of the approach announced on Thursday.…

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LGBT Video-Makers Sue YouTube Claiming Discrimination

Slashdot - Thu, 2019-08-15 23:30
AmiMoJo shares a report from the BBC: A group of YouTube video-makers is suing it and parent company Google, claiming both discriminate against LGBT-themed videos and their creators. The group claims YouTube restricts advertising on LGBT videos and limits their reach and discoverability. But YouTube said sexual orientation and gender identity played no role in deciding whether videos could earn ad revenue or appear in search results. A group is hoping a jury will hear its case in California. The legal action makes a wide range of claims, including that YouTube: - Removes advertising from videos featuring "trigger words" such as "gay" or "lesbian" - Often labels LGBT-themed videos as "sensitive" or "mature" and restricts them from appearing in search results or recommendations - Does not do enough to filter harassment and hate speech in the comments section "Our policies have no notion of sexual orientation or gender identity and our systems do not restrict or demonetize videos based on these factors or the inclusion of terms like 'gay' or 'transgender,'" spokesman Alex Joseph said. "In addition, we have strong policies prohibiting hate speech and we quickly remove content that violates our policies and terminate accounts that do so repeatedly."

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Advertisers Are Blacklisting News Stories That Contain Forbidden Words

Slashdot - Thu, 2019-08-15 22:50
Zorro shares a report from The Wall Street Journal: Companies are increasingly insisting their ads do not appear near articles or videos that contain any of a long list of words. Like many advertisers, Fidelity Investments wants to avoid advertising online near controversial content. The Boston-based financial-services company has a lengthy blacklist of words it considers off-limits. If one of those words is in an article's headline, Fidelity won't place an ad there. Its list earlier this year, reviewed by The Wall Street Journal, contained more than 400 words, including "bomb," "immigration" and "racism." Also off-limits: "Trump." Some news organizations have had difficulty placing Fidelity's ads on their sites, ad-sales executives said, because the list is so exhaustive and the terms appear in many news articles. Top 15 Forbidden Words: Dead, Shooting, Murder, Gun, Rape, Bomb, Died, Attack, Killed, Suicide, Trump, Crash, Crime, Explosion, Accident. "The ad-blacklisting threatens to hit publications' revenue and is creating incentives to produce more lifestyle-oriented coverage that is less controversial than hard news," reports The Wall Street Journal. "Some news organizations are investing in technologies meant to gauge the way news stories make readers feel in the hopes of persuading advertisers that there are options for ad placement other than blacklisting." The use of lengthy keyword lists "is going to force publishers to do lifestyle content and focus on that at the expense of investigative journalism or serious journalism," said Nick Hewat, commercial director for the Guardian, a U.K. publisher. "That is a long-term consequence of this sort of buying behavior."

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India Shut Down Kashmir's Internet Access

Slashdot - Thu, 2019-08-15 22:10
An anonymous reader quotes a report from The New York Times: Masroor Nazir, a pharmacist in Kashmir's biggest city, Srinagar, has some advice for people in the region: Do not get sick, because he may not have any medicine left to help. "We used the internet for everything," said Mr. Nazir, 28, whose pharmacy is near the city's famed clock tower. He said he normally went online to order new drugs and to fulfill requests from other pharmacies in more rural parts of Kashmir Valley. But now, "we cannot do anything." As the Indian government's shutdown of internet and phone service in the contested region enters its 11th day, Kashmir has become paralyzed. Shopkeepers said that vital supplies like insulin and baby food, which they typically ordered online, were running out. Cash was scarce, as metal shutters covered the doors and windows of banks and A.T.M.s, which relied on the internet for every transaction. Doctors said they could not communicate with their patients. Only a few government locations with landlines have been available for the public to make phone calls, with long waits to get a few minutes of access. The information blockade was an integral part of India's unilateral decision last week to wipe out the autonomy of Jammu and Kashmir, an area of 12.5 million people that is claimed by both India and Pakistan and has long been a source of tension. That has brought everyday transactions, family communications, online entertainment and the flow of money and information to a halt.According to Access Now, a global digital rights group, India is the world leader in shutting down the internet. The country has blocked the internet 134 times, compared with 12 shutdowns in Pakistan, the No. 2 country. "Shutting down the internet has become the first go-to the moment the police think there will be any kind of disturbance," said Mishi Choudhary, founder of SFLC.in, a legal advocacy group in New Delhi that has tracked the sharp rise in web shutdowns in India since 2012.

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Truckers, prepare to lose your jobs as UPS buys into self-driving tech

TheRegister - Thu, 2019-08-15 22:02
A human driver is still needed, for the moment at least

Package delivery giant UPS has invested in TuSimple, a self-driving startup based in San Diego, California, to develop autonomous trucks, the mega-corp announced on Thursday.…

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